Empty properties

Page updated on: 19/03/2020

If you own a property which is currently empty and you’re not sure what to do with it, then we can help. We are looking to bring empty properties back into use and can provide you with a range of advice and options that are available to you.

We want to work with owners of empty properties to carry out any necessary improvements and re-occupy the property.

The added benefits of bringing a property back into use are;

You will:

  • Reduce your outgoings on the property, including Council Tax and other services (gas, electric & water).
  • Ensure that the property is occupied and therefore less likely to be the subject of criminal damage, vandalism and arson etc.
  • Prevent further deterioration of the property and any formal enforcement action.

We can help you with advice and guidance for the following options;

If your property is in a poor condition and needs considerable works to bring it up to a reasonable standard, we can give you free advice on the work that is needed and can also help you find suitable agents who may be able to manage the renovation works on your behalf.

We are working with our Trading Standards team who have created a list of approved contractors that you could use from the Buy with Confidence Scheme and we are also able to give you advice and assistance on how to raise the finance needed to undertake the work. This also includes information on financial assistance through interest free loans and we can provide assistance with VAT exemptions.

 

If your property is in good condition, you could be earning a substantial income stream by renting out your empty property. If the property was rented out you would not be responsible for paying Council Tax, saving an additional £900 to £1,200 a year. You can look at our Local Housing Allowance page to get an idea of the level of rent you could expect for renting your property. We can give you guidance on managing the property yourself.

If you are looking to use the property for a Single Household or House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), we can give you advice and guidance you need about housing and fire safety standards, HMO management regulations and Rent Smart (Wales). The following links will also give you advice and guidance;

We have a Social Lettings Agency called Simple Lettings, that works in a similar way as using a private lettings agency, but we would provide the management service for you.
There is a charge for a management fee which is 8% (+VAT) of the total amount of rent. For this we will:

  • Find tenants for your property.
  • Arrange shorthold tenancy agreements.
  • Manage rent collection and payments to you.
  • Carry out management visits to the property.
  • Take action to end the tenancy if there are serious problems with the tenant.

You can sell your property through a local estate agent and we can provide you with a list of agents in your area or can arrange for valuations to be carried out. This will give you a clear idea of the current value of the property.

Alternatively, you can sell your property at auction. The benefits of using auctioneers are that they are quick, decisive, with a binding contract on the fall of the hammer and completion is usually within 28 days. They are particularly appropriate for properties in poor condition which are not mortgageable, as auctions attract developers, local builders and cash buyers.

Should you choose to sell the property at auction, by choosing to go through this Council, you will be entitled to a reduced percentage charge on fees which could save you over £1000.