Empty properties

Is an empty property causing a nuisance?

If an empty residential property is open to access and people are getting in and causing a nuisance or putting themselves at risk then the council can arrange for the property to be secured.

If the property is causing a statutory nuisance then the council can serve a notice on the owner requiring them to rectify the situation.

If defects to an empty property, outbuildings or perimeters are causing a nuisance eg a leaking roof where the water gets in through a hole on one property and emerges in a neighbouring property, the council can investigate and take action.

If you think either of these things is happening at a particular property please call the Housing Standards Team to discuss the situation, telephone (01283) 508836.

If the hedge at an empty home is obstructing the pavement or road you can report this to Staffordshire County Council's Highways Team on 0300 111 8000.

If overgrown gardens are causing other sorts of nuisance the Council’s Planning Enforcement Team may be able to investigate and possibly take action. Call (01283) 508836.

Do you own an empty home?

Leaving a property empty puts it at risk of vandalism and arson, and even without these problems an empty property is likely to deteriorate and reduce in value, thereby putting your investment at risk. Here are some other good reasons for not leaving your property empty:

  • From 1st April 2013 some previous council tax exemptions have ended. This means that council tax has to be to paid on the majority of empty homes, although there are some discounts.
  • A tenant would pay you rent
  • A tenant would pay the council tax and other bills
  • Guidance is available to Landlords on the process of finding a tenant and managing a tenancy
  • Renting out need not take your time – you could use a letting agent to find you suitable tenants and/or a managing agent to take responsibility for maintenance and rental issues. 
  • You could sell or auction the property and release the equity
  • The VAT is reduced to just 5% on the costs of refurbishing or converting homes that have been empty for more than two years
  • You may be able to claim 100% capital allowance if you convert a flat over a shop to residential accommodation
  • Derventio Housing Trust might lease the property from you and then let to tenants for the duration of the lease (usually 3 years). Call Derventio on 01332 292776 for more information

To discuss the market for housing and bringing an empty home back into use please contact Housing Strategy on (01283) 508149.

Are you interested in buying an empty home?

If you are interested in buying a particular empty home, the council can approach the owner with your details inviting them to get in touch with you. Call Housing Strategy on (01283) 508149.

For more information on any of the above or about empty homes in general, take a look at this Empty Homes booklet created in collaboration with our neighbouring West Midlands Authorities.