Empty residential properties

An empty property can be a target for criminals and antisocial behaviour, and can have a negative effect on the local community.  They can deteriorate faster than occupied homes and sometimes reduce the value of neighbouring properties.

An owner of an empty property has to keep it to a minimum standard by law.
It must be:

  • safe
  • secure
  • free from things that cause pests.

We have powers to encourage the owners of these properties to bring them back into use.

It is accepted that turnover in the housing market will lead to some properties remaining vacant for a period of time, we are unlikely to intervene where a property is empty as part of an ongoing sale. It is properties which remain vacant for a longer term, for example six months or more, that give rise to concern. 

If you have concerns about an empty property, you can report it to us.

Last updated 12 October 2022
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