Empty homes

Privately owned homes which are empty for six months or more are a waste and could be used to help meet housing need. They can also cause problems for nearby residents and the wider community.

It can cost a lot if you own an empty home. You'll have to pay for things like:

  • insurance
  • security costs
  • maintenance costs
  • utility bills

You may qualify for a council tax reduction if your property is unoccupied for a short time. However, we'll double the amount of council tax if a property's unoccupied for 12 months or more. This is called the Long Term Empty Property Tariff  and applies even if a property is derelict or in very poor condition.

You can save money by bringing an empty property back into use but you could also bring in rental income or a significant lump sum by selling up.

Our role

It's up to you to look after your property but we can help if a home gets stuck as an empty home. Call us on 030 33 33 3000.

We focus is on providing advice, guiding you through the options so you can select the solution that is right for you. We also look at what can be done about problematic properties and cases where the owner has no intention of returning a property to use.

Many properties are empty for valid reasons, and we appreciate that renovations and sales take time. We rarely need to get involved in these circumstances.

Tell us about an empty property

You can complete an online form to report an empty property:

Report an empty home

Provide as much information as possible about the property and include a precise address. This information will help us work out what action is needed.

Town Centre Living Fund

The aims to increase the supply of affordable housing in town centres by bringing empty properties back into use.

The fund will support ongoing work aimed at improving the sustainability and vibrancy of our town centres by encouraging the refurbishment of empty properties and providing homes for our communities. The fund aims to enable projects which meet local housing need and wider regeneration outcomes.

Empty homes owners survey

We are wanting to find out the major reasons for homes in the region being empty and to help owners deal with the issues that face them.

There are a number of reasons for owners to bring empty homes back into use:

  • To reduce costs (council tax, insurance and maintenance bills)
  • To generate a regular rental income or capital sum if the property is sold.
  • To reduce deterioration of the property and avoid problems for the community.
  • To provide a home for somebody.

Complete the online survey

Page last updated: 01/10/2020
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