We are keen to reduce the number of empty properties in Carmarthenshire, and as such we offer as much help as possible to owners to bring them back in to use.
Empty properties can be derelict or abandoned, or may just be empty because they have been inherited, and the owner has not yet decided what to do with it, or cannot afford to bring it up to standard.
Carmarthenshire, as in other parts of the UK, has a housing shortage, which is why it is so important that these homes can be sold or let on the housing market.
Empty properties can also cause a problem.
- attract anti-social activity, including crime, vandalism and arson, resulting in an increased fear of crime for neighbours
- blight the surroundings and create environmental problems
- decrease adjacent property values, by as much as 18%
- discourage further investment in the area, leading to neighbourhood decline
- cost the owner significant money (council tax, loss of rental income and deterioration of the property), it is estimated that the overall cost to the owner can be as much as £9,000-£11,000 a year.
Empty properties are often excluded from Council Tax and Rates, therefore they contribute less in tax, which helps pay for local services.
What are we doing to help?
We are working in various ways to deal with empty properties.
We employ a dedicated Empty Property Officer to co-ordinate our efforts to bring empty properties back in to use.
We are proactive in taking action against owners who refuse to cooperate in bringing an empty home in to use, or up to a good standard.
We let people know about various ways they can get financial help to bring properties back in to use under the Houses to Homes scheme; and use Welsh Government funding to bring empty properties back into use with minor repair or improvement works, whilst offering affordable housing through an in-house Social Lettings Agency.
We provide extensive advice and guidance on empty properties, including housing standards, private sales and lettings, tax advice etc. We work with partners, and offer discounted referral mechanisms for Auction property sales.