Empty homes

We're committed to reducing the number of long-term empty homes in the city. Long term empty homes are those that have been empty for six months or more.

There are a number of reasons why properties become empty. These include the death or ill health of an owner, the property being subject to probate or other legal disputes, or a landlord being unwilling or unable to let the property. An owner may also be unable or unwilling to sell a property, or have inherited it and not know what to do with it.

Empty properties can make a significant impact to a road or area as they may:

  • fall into disrepair and/or become dilapidated
  • become a target for vandalism, antisocial behaviour and crime
  • cause damage to, and devalue, adjoining properties
  • cause concern to neighbours and a threat to safety

Report a problem property

If you are concerned about a vacant or dilapidated property you can report it. 

Please note you will need to create an account. Once signed in, use the 'Request' option to report your issue.

Sign in to LAR 

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Read our privacy notice which tells you how we use your data.

We investigate and take effective action against owners of vacant and run down properties where there is evidence of:

  • Build up of rubbish.
  • Infestations of vermin, in particular, rats.
  • Nuisance that harms health - such as smoke, fumes, gas, dust or smells. 
  • Risk of injury to children and others who enter the building.
  • Ruined and neglected buildings which are an eyesore and have a negative effect on the neighbourhood.

Enforcement action we take

We use enforcement options only as a last resort where an owner is unwilling to bring the home back into use and it is causing a problem in the neighbourhood. There are several options available to us including:

  • Statutory enforcement action - we use a wide range of enforcement powers to make sure an owner improves their property.
  • Enforced sale - this allows the sale of an empty property to be forced to recover debts that are owed to us.
  • Empty Dwelling Management Order – enables management of the property to move to the local authority or a nominated party (usually a registered provider) for up to seven years.
  • Compulsory purchase - this is when we buy a property from an owner even if they don't give their consent.

Do I have to pay Council Tax for an empty home?

We may reduce your Council Tax by 20 per cent for up to 12 months if the property is empty due to structural alterations or major repairs.

Properties that are empty and substantially unfurnished will be charged an empty property premium.

Find out more on our Council Tax discounts and exemptions page.