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Reporting empty homes

Bringing empty properties back into use helps our communities by:

  • increasing housing supply
  • regenerating the area
  • reducing problems like crime or the surrounding area being devalued

How we can help

If you know of an empty property in the borough, you can report this to us. We can help by providing advice and guidance, and by working with owners to bring properties back into appropriate use.

We can also take legal action, including:

  • compulsory purchase orders (CPOs)
  • empty dwelling management orders (EDMOs)
  • enforced sales

We prioritise properties that have been empty for the longest and those that have the worst impact on the surrounding areas. This is so we can stop empty buildings from being unlawfully accessed.

Report an empty property

Email the housing standards team if you'd like to report an empty property. We'll identify and contact the owner to see what they're doing to bring this back into use.

Alternatively, you can email the community protection team if the property is:

  • accumulating waste
  • attracting vermin
  • open to intruders

You'll need to tell us:

  • the address
  • a brief description of what's wrong (for example, smashed windows, rubbish in front garden, etc)
  • details about the owner (if you know who this is)
  • your contact details

What happens next

We investigate every report of an empty property. We'll check with colleagues within the council and the HM Land Registry. Sometimes an an empty property will still have a registered owner.

If a property is open to intruders, we'll ask the owner to immediately secure it. If they take no action or the property is a risk to the public, we can board it up.

We understand properties can become empty for a variety of reasons. We want to work with owners to help bring them back into use as soon as possible. When necessary, we will take legal action against an owner.

We are unable to share information about the owner of an empty property.

CPO Action

We continue to make use of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) where an owner of a long term empty dwelling has no realistic plans for bringing the property back into use. In 2023 a further 5 long term empty homes had CPOs agreed by the Secretary of State.

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