What is the aim of the scheme?
The aim of 'Report It Empty' is to help identify empty homes that may otherwise go undetected.
Empty homes can cause problems to neighbours, fall into disrepair and in some circumstances attract anti-social behaviour. The scheme gives you the power to help us identify these homes and allow an investigation to be carried out. Although it is unlikely that you will immediately see much happen with the property a lot of work will be going on in the background to try and find out exactly why it has been left empty. Unfortunately some cases can be very complex and it is important that you are aware that they can often take a long time (sometimes years) to resolve, however by reporting it you have set the wheels in motion.
How long does the property need to have been empty?
Usually we won't start investigating the reason a property is empty until it has been unoccupied for at least six months. Most properties will become reoccupied during this period without the need of any intervention from the Council.
Can the Council take action for every empty Home?
Some properties are empty for a very genuine reason; examples are that maybe the owner is in hospital or caring for an ill or elderly relative elsewhere. In circumstances such as these it is unlikely the Council will be able to take action. However the property should be secure against intruders.
What do I do next?
Properties can be reported online using the button below.
If you would like feedback please leave your contact details. You don't need to worry about these details being passed on as we will never tell the owner of the property who has reported it. Once a report of an empty property has been received an officer from the Council will carry out a visit to confirm the details and gather any further information needed.
What can we do to help?
We have developed a range of options we can use to either help or require owners to return properties to use, depending on the circumstances of each case. In the beginning we always try and encourage owners to return properties to use and work with them through our various schemes. Unfortunately there will always be cases where the owner doesn't want to do anything. In these circumstances the Council may consider enforcement action where appropriate.