Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Rushcliffe: Empty home owners urged to get property back into use

Empty homeowners across Rushcliffe are being urged to bring their property back into use with a range of assistance from Rushcliffe Borough Council.

As part of the national Empty Homes Week this week, the authority is again appealing to property owners to use the advice and help on offer in line with its Empty Homes Strategy. 

The authority lowered its empty homes numbers by 10% between 2019 and 2023 and remains below the national average of long-term empty properties totalling 0.83% of dwellings in the Borough, compared with an average of 1.02% UK-wide. 

In that time 74 problematic long-term empty homes were returned to use, and 61 enforcement notices were issued to remove, alleviate or improve issues affecting the lives of the surrounding neighbours and communities.

Unoccupied homes can be detrimental to the lives of those in local communities and can cause problems such as vandalism, anti-social behaviour and nuisance and reduce the value of surrounding properties. 

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The Council offers a range of advice and support tools to assist owners over their empty home hurdle including: 

 

  • Free property appraisal, including current value, rental value if habitable and cost of refurbishment works
  • Links to estate agents and property investors, to find the most appropriate sale route for the owner
  • Links with letting agents to advise on letting the property to family units, students, or as a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
  • Advice on upgrades to the property, to ensure all current regulatory standards are adhered to
  • Advice on VAT and tax implications of being a landlord 
  • Guidance on the reduced rate of VAT on refurbishments of properties empty over two years

The Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing Cllr Roger Upton said: “Whether the property is struggling to sell, needs repairs to make it habitable, or is in the process of going through probate, there are often difficult and substantial reasons why homes remain empty but we’re here to help.

 

“Whilst under one per cent of homes in Rushcliffe are empty and we are below the national average, we still have in the region of 450 long-term empty homes across the Borough and are endeavouring to reduce them wherever possible.

 

“Where an owner has plans for the property and is actively implementing them, we still make contact to see if we can further assist the plans to ensure they stay on track.”

 

If an owner fails to respond to repeated attempts to contact them, and there are no signs that the property will be occupied in the near future, the Council can consider a range of enforcement options. 

 

They include compulsory purchase orders, an empty dwelling management order, enforced sale to recover debt or improvement notices where the Council can carry out the improvement works if the owner fails to themselves.

 

Got a query on an empty home, you are an empty home owner and want advice, or you wish to report an empty home near you? Email emptyhomes@rushcliffe.gov.uk

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