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Empty homes

Empty homes can cost their owners thousands of pounds a year in council tax (100% premium for those empty over 2 years), insurance, mortgage and repairs. The district suffers from a lack of housing and we have hundreds of households on the Homeseekers register and many in priority need.

Properties in disrepair can cause issues for neighbouring properties, such as devaluation, damage and anti-social behaviour.

We are committed to reducing the number of long term empty homes in the district. For more information read our Empty homes strategy.

To discuss how we can help you rent your property to someone on our housing list:

Possible enforcement orders

Empty Dwelling Management Orders

We are able to use an Empty Dwelling Management Order to compulsorily lease empty homes that have been vacant for longer than two years where other options have been unsuccessful.  The powers are granted by Part 4 of the Housing Act 2004.  

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Compulsory Purchase Orders are a final sanction for us to improve private sector housing where other options such as offers of grants or notices have failed.

Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 gives us the power to acquire buildings and land through compulsory purchase. This allows Compulsory Purchase Orders to be made for the purpose of providing housing accommodation.

Report an empty home

You can report an empty home by emailing us on 

VAT savings letter

If an owner is planning repairs to an empty home and uses a VAT registered contractor then the Empty Homes Coordinator can provide you with a VAT letter. This confirms that the property has been empty for two or more years. The owner then gives the letter to their contractor and allows them to charge 5% VAT on many repair costs. Email 

The saving of 15% VAT can make a big difference, and is very easy to arrange. We ask owners that if they plan to sell their empty property, to make the new owner aware of these savings.