We are working to address the issue of empty properties in the area.
Empty properties can negatively affect neighbourhoods and can quickly become a source of complaint for local residents, through:
- criminal damage or vandalism to the empty property
- dumped rubbish in yards or gardens
- public health problems
The Council can take enforcement action against owners who continue to leave their property empty and allow public health issues to continue.
Tell us about an empty property
What the Council can do
The process of working with property owners is a lengthy and complex one, with no quick fix in the majority of cases.
In certain circumstances we can:
- work with owners so they can voluntarily fix the problem
- serve notice on owners if they fail to fix the problems and the property is causing a nuisance
- carry out works on the property if the owner has refused to comply with the terms of the Notice within the timescale given
- issue an enforced sale / compulsory purchase order
What you can do
If an adjoining empty property is causing a physical problem to your home, such as dampness or dry rot, you can take legal action.
The problem must be either:
- harmful to the health of you or others living in your property, or
- a nuisance that interferes with your enjoyment of your property.
It is not enough if you are disturbed by something which is an eyesore.
This action should not be taken lightly and may lead to poor relations with your neighbouring owner.
If you want to leave your property empty
It is not illegal to keep a property empty, but you must make sure you:
- continue to pay your Council Tax and other utility bills
- the property remains secure and well-maintained
To make sure the property doesn't fall into disrepair and become a target for vandalism you should, at least:
- arrange empty property insurance
- make sure the gardens are kept neat and tidy
- create the appearance that the property is occupied, for example, by hanging curtains
- inspect the property regularly and carry out any repairs that are needed
- consider giving a neighbour a telephone number so that someone can be contacted in an emergency