Advice if you own an empty home

Empty homes are a waste of homes and money.

There's lots of different reasons why a property becomes empty and stays empty. Empty properties can attract antisocial behaviour and cause deterioration to the local neighbourhood. If there's an empty home causing a nuisance near you, you can report it to us.

If you own an empty property we can help you bring it back into use. By leaving your house empty you could be losing up to £6,000 a year through loss of rent, council tax and insurance costs. The good news is there's a number of simple and quick ways to bring the property back into use.

We can:

  • offer advice on inheritance, probate or family disputes issues
  • offer a guaranteed rent through our leasing scheme with a housing charity
  • discuss your options and the best way to proceed
  • assist you with financial support
  • help find the right contractors to work on your house
  • assist you to be a successful landlord

Our support is tailored and free of charge, and we'll listen to what you need and the barriers you face.

Renovation grants / loans

You can apply for financial assistance (criteria dependent) to repair your home and bring it back into use. We can provide support and work with you to make it a safe home.

To be eligible for financial assistance:

  • the outstanding costs must exceed 75% of the property value (to receive the renovation grant)
  • the property must have been empty for at least 6 months
  • there must be no registered debts to the council against the property
  • the property must not have received any previous grants within the last 10 years
  • you must sign up to our landlord accreditation scheme

The maximum funding available is £15,750.

Please ensure you have read the empty homes terms and conditions before registering your interest.

Selling your empty home

We may be able to buy your empty property (criteria dependent) or put you in contact with private property investors. 

To see if this is an option for your home, contact us online.

Letting your empty home

Becoming a landlord can be a daunting and time-consuming process however the Council and Berneslai Homes are running a couple of schemes you may be interested in.

Lease and repair scheme

If you’d prefer to get the income without the daily hassle of being a landlord, the Council has partnered up with a Social Housing Provider who can lease your property over a period of 10 years for a guaranteed rent without the daily worry of renting your property.

Berneslai Homes Property Management Service

The Berneslai Homes Property Management Service offers private landlords a service that best meets their needs; maximises their income and ensures their property and tenants are compliant with current regulations. For a small monthly fee, the service includes: advice on rent, advertising of the property, tenancy documents, rent collection and end of tenancy issues.

Renting and managing your own property

If you prefer to manage the property yourself, you can work directly with the Council’s Housing Options Team who help disadvantaged people access safe and affordable housing. There are many situations that can cause someone to be at risk of homelessness and in all cases the Housing Options Team is there to support individuals to find suitable accommodation to move to. Working directly with the Housing Options Teams they can offer support through advice and other practical support.

Landlord accreditation scheme

Find out more about our landlord accreditation scheme.

Owners that leave properties empty

If you decide to leave your property empty even after we've tried to help you, we have statutory powers that we're able to use.

Enforcement measures are only used as a last resort - where it's been impossible to trace the owner, agree a voluntary solution with them, or where a home has simply been abandoned.

You can find out more about this, and how we intend to tackle the problem of empty homes, by filling in our online form.