Boarded up houses and derelict or untidy sites are unsightly, may attract vermin, rubbish, graffiti and vandalism and can have a negative effect on the value of neighbouring properties.
Empty homes represent a wasted resource:
- for every homeless person in England, there are 7 empty homes
- in the Wakefield District 3.96% of the housing stock is vacant, compared to the regional average of 4.06%.
Bringing empty homes into use has many benefits
Owners benefit from:
- rental income or better sale potential
- security against vandalism
- property management
Neighbouring residents benefit from:
- the removal of an eyesore which may be attracting anti-social behaviour and nuisance
Tenants benefit from:
- having a wider choice of properties to rent
- access to good quality, affordable homes
The Council benefits from:
- developing an enabling role which may result in greater levels of government financial support
- improvements to key properties which may form part of a wider regeneration strategy
- use of a wasted resource in communities which may reduce the need to develop new sites
What is Wakefield District’s Empty Homes Strategy?
We are committed to working with communities and all agencies involved in housing provision to bring empty properties back in to use.
When an empty property is reported, we will log it on our database and monitor it until it is brought back in to use.
We will try to trace the owner and try to bring the property back in to use. In the case of an untidy site, we will work with the owner to try to deal with the problem.
If there are problems of nuisance or vermin infestation we can require the owner to deal with those problems before a longer-term solution can be found.
Where an owner cannot be traced (or is unco-operative) we have a range of enforcement powers, which will be considered. Where the Council has a charge on the property, Enforced Sale will also be considered as an option.
How do I report an empty property or untidy site?
If you have a problem with an empty property or untidy site near you, please call us on 01924 306665.
What can property owners do?
If you are the owner of an empty property and want to do something about the nuisance or loss of income it may be causing, the following options could be available to you:
- Sale to a private owner or Registered Social Landlord
- Let to a private tenant
- Appoint a managing agent
The Empty Homes Team can offer professional help and advice to property owners wishing to bring their empty homes back into residential use.
Interest Free Loans For Empty Homes
Working in partnership with the White Rose Credit Union we have developed 3 new interest free loans to help owners bring their empty properties back into use.
- Reoccupation Loan – Assistance for owners to carry out repairs enabling the empty property to be rented out through one of the Council’s accredited private sector letting agents/landlords
- Assistance To Sell Loan – Assistance for owners to resolve probate/legal/marketing issues to enable the empty property to be sold
- Tenancy Support Loan – Assistance for tenants to help bridge the gap for the first housing benefit payment and or rent deposit bond for private sector landlords accredited by the Council
Strategic Housing Service
PO Box 700
Tel: 01924 306665