Empty homes are a wasted resource that could be used to help meet housing need, but instead help contribute to the UK’s housing shortage. They can also cause problems for residents living in their vicinity, and can have a negative impact on the wider community.
Bringing empty homes back into use can increase housing supply, improve community safety and contribute to area regeneration.
The Empty Homes Officers are primarily concerned with privately owned empty which have been empty for more than 6 months.
Why properties are left empty
A lot of properties are empty for legitimate reasons, and the Council appreciates that renovations and sales take time. We will rarely need to get involved in these circumstances.
The Council’s focus is on advice and support for owners who want to do something with their empty property: providing information about the range of options available to help owners select the solution that is right for them. We also look at what can be done about problematic properties, and those where the owner has no intention of returning a property to use.
Cost to owners
It has been estimated that an empty home can cost the owner around £7310 a year through council tax, increased insurance and maintenance costs, outlays for security and lost rental income.
Bringing it back into use not only saves the owner these costs, it can provide rental income or a lump sum through sale.
How we can help:
The Empty Homes Officers work with owners and with other services in the Council, to find the best ways to bring empty properties back into use.
- Advice and Assistance
There are a range of things you could do with your empty property including letting it out, living in it yourself or selling. If you would like more information on what you could do with your empty property and the help available, or would just like to talk with the Empty Homes Officer, email email@example.com
- Empty Property Matchmaker
The Property Matchmaker is a free service. It is described as a ‘dating agency’ for empty homes: it aims to match owners who want to sell with people who want to buy an empty property.
For more information check out our Empty Property Matchmaker Leaflet.
If you would like to register for the scheme complete the relevant owner or buyer application form.
To download the leaflet or application forms click on the publications at the bottom of this page.
- Interest free loan to rent
We have a limited number of interest free loans available to owners of homes that have been vacant for more than 6 months. The loan is for carrying out predominantly internal renovations and can range from £5,000 up to £15,000.
To discuss this further and to check your eligibility please contact an Empty Homes Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other Funding Initiatives
Scottish Government Rural Housing Fund
Glenrothes YMCA Empty Homes Project