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Empty properties

Properties that stand empty cause a nuisance for neighbourhoods. They can become a target for vandals and attract antisocial behaviour. Empty properties deteriorate in condition faster than occupied homes, and can affect the value of neighbouring properties.

Report an empty property

If you report a property, we will not disclose your details to the property owner. To make a report, we need to know the address of the empty property, but any further information that you can provide about its condition and the length of time it has been empty will help us understand the situation.

After you've reported:

  • We'll identify and make contact with the owner and visit the empty property
  • If the property or land is causing a nuisance to the community then we've powers to undertake works to deal with the issue
  • If the owner is unwilling to work with us to bring the property back into use then we've a number of ways to deal with the empty property, including Empty Dwelling Management Orders, Compulsory Purchase Orders and Enforced Sales
Report an empty property (opens in a new window)

How much empty property costs

You could be missing out up to £12,800 a year from your empty property:

  • £2,000 - £5,000 a year in council tax, utilities, standing charges, insurance and deterioration
  • £4,320 - £7,800 from lost rent

Bring your empty property back into use

Find out about how to apply for our schemes and loans.

Fill in our online form to ask about bringing your empty property back into use.

Ask about bringing your empty property back into use (opens in a new window)

How to make money from an empty property

Your property can easily go from vacant to occupied. We've a wide range of schemes and loans to help you make money from your empty property.

Schemes and loans Description Benefits to you
6 month guaranteed rent scheme

Earn an income from your property if it's been up for sale for a while and is currently empty.

You lease your property to a housing association for a 6 month period. The housing association sub-leases the property to a tenant.

  • Get a guaranteed rental income over the winter months
  • The housing association is responsible for sourcing the tenant and managing the property
  • Housing association management fees are taken out of the rent
  • Any tenant damage is covered
  • At the end of the lease period the property is handed back to you without tenants, ready to go back on the market
Repair and lease scheme           

If your property is in need of significant refurbishment, you can lease your property to a housing association for a period of 5-10 years.

The housing association will sub-lease your property to a tenant.

  • The housing association completes repairs to bring the property up to rental standards through a grant or interest FREE loan
  • You're guaranteed rent whether it's occupied of not
  • You don't pay council tax while the property is occupied
  • Housing association repairs and management fees are taken out of the rent
  • At the end of the lease period the property is handed back to you, or you can opt to extend the agreement
Private sector leasing schemeIf your property isn’t in need of improvements, you can lease the property to a housing association for a period of 2-10 years. They'll sub-lease it to a tenant.
  • The housing association is responsible for sourcing a tenant
  • You're guaranteed rent whether your property is  occupied of not
  • You don't pay council tax
  • Housing association management fees are taken out of the rent
Management only scheme

A housing association will help you manage the rental of your property for a small flat rate fee.

As a landlord, you'll be responsible for paying for any repairs and chasing any rent non-payments. If you’re worried about becoming a landlord we offer support and advice to private rented landlords.

  • The housing association is responsible for sourcing a tenant
  • The housing association deals with all day-to-day issues the tenant has on your behalf
  • As the landlord you remain in control of your property
  • You don't have to pay council tax whilst the property is occupied
  • Housing association management fees are taken out of the rent
Empty property loans​We offer loans to carry out essential work, increase your property's value and bring it back into use.
  •  Make your property more attractive to renters or improve your property so you can move in yourself
  • ​You may be eligible for up to £15,000 per property

Refusing to bring a property into use

We can take steps if you refuse to work with us to bring your property back into use, including:

  • Undertaking work to deal with an issue - if your property or land is causing a nuisance to the community, the council has powers to undertake work to deal with the issue. For example, we can charge you for work we do to remove tipping from your land, and if you don't pay you could lose your property.
  • Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) - if you're unwilling to bring your property back into use, the council can apply to take over the management of the property.  An EDMO allows us to carry out work to bring the property to a habitable standard then rent and manage your property for 7 years.
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) - if we're unable to encourage you to bring your property back into use or you fail to comply with statutory notices to improve your property, the council may consider a CPO. If there's a strong enough case and it's in the public interest a CPO will allow us to acquire your property or land.
  • Enforced sale - if the council completes work in default of notices to your property or land, under Section 103 of the Law of Property Act 1925 we have the power to sell your property or land in order to recover the costs incurred.