Empty Homes Policy

Problems caused by Empty Properties

4.1 Empty properties can have a detrimental impact on communities and the local environment. Whilst it is not illegal to keep a property empty it can be an expensive option. The longer a property lies empty, the more it will deteriorate. Some of the most common problems associated with empty properties include:

• Wasted asset that costs the owner money to maintain/leave empty

• Vandalism/arson/anti-social behaviour

• Blight on local communities and general loss of value affecting neighbouring property values

• Urban deprivation of inner areas accelerating population loss

• Loss of community as permanent homeowners move out and are replaced by passing tenants

• Deterioration leading to dangerous and dilapidated structures which can be a danger to the public and/or cause damage to neighbouring properties

• Fly tipping/dumping/overgrown land and gardens

• Problems due to vermin infiltration

• Illegal squatting

• Time and money costs to both the Council and the emergency services