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Empty properties

At Eden we put tackling empty properties high on our list of priorities. Each dwelling which is standing empty is seen as a wasted resource, not only to the community, but to the owner. Within Eden we have a growing demand for homes, either for rent or purchase, and we wish to see empty properties brought back into use as quickly as possible. This is because we believe that it is generally cheaper to repair an empty property than to build new homes.

A property left empty and neglected for considerable time can bring problems associated with vandalism, squatters, rodents and nuisance - as well as being unsightly and detrimental to the local environment.

There are also economic advantages to owners in bringing a property back into use. They can benefit from rental revenue and reduced insurance premiums. Maintenance and repair costs can be reduced, and there can be a reduction in VAT costs if an empty property is renovated for occupation.

We want very much to encourage owners to bring their properties back into use and we are looking at ways in which we may be able to provide help for empty property repairs.

We can offer advice and assistance on the different options that may be available to you, providing details on letting, selling and private leasing schemes.

See action on empty homes website for a national overview of empty properties .

Help for empty property repairs

Your empty property can be used to bring you some income. The average 3 bedroom property in Eden can be expected to fetch £550 each month. Let us assume that, on average, it will be rented for 11 months a year, over a 5 year period.

So your gross income will be £550 x 11 x 5 = £30,250

It is quite likely that you will then contract the tenant to take over paying the Council Tax and any utility bills.

Empty property grants

We currently offer 2 types of grants to help repair your property.

  1. A grant of up to £20,000 towards essential works, for example, roofing, window and door replacement, heating installation, kitchen and bathroom installation and electrical rewiring. On completion, the property must be leased to one of our Housing Association partners for 5 years. After this it reverts back to you to continue renting or to sell.

  2. A grant of up to £10,000 towards essential works. The owner will have to match-fund the amount of grant. On completion, the property must be rented to someone through our Choice Based Letting Scheme. Essentially, this will be to someone who is registered as seeking social housing. You will be able to choose who you rent the property to from a list of applicants. You will have to manage the property or may arrange for a Letting Agent to do so.

Empty property loan

There is a loan to refurbish your empty property at 0% interest. The loan can only be used for works that are essential to the property. You can apply for a maximum of £15,000 to be repaid over a maximum 5 year period. When the property is refurbished, you can either sell it, or rent it out, in order to repay your loan. For more information, please see our Empty Property Loan Assistance Policy (PDF: 132Kb / 4 pages).

To apply for a grant or loan or discuss your requirement please contact us on the details below:

Why report an empty property

We would like to hear from you about empty properties you know about. It may be that you feel that it could be brought into use for someone's benefit, or that it has some impact on your life. The way in which empty properties impact on your life can include:

  • Affecting the price of your property, or reducing the chances of selling your property.
  • Ruining the look of your village, or neighbourhood.
  • Ruining your property, for example, by causing it to become damp.
  • Providing a place for antisocial gatherings.
  • Harbouring an infestation of pests.

Before you report an empty property

It will help if you can give us the following details:

  • Your address and contact details for ease of communication and business analysis.
  • The address. including postcode. of the empty property.
  • Known details of the owners.
  • The circumstances causing it to have become, and remain, empty.
  • How it affects your life.
  • How you think it could be reused.

Reporting an empty property

You can report an empty property to any of the following:

You local parish council (strongly recommended).

Your local ward councillor.

Your Member of Parliament.

The Housing Team on the contact details below:

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