National Empty Homes Week 2019
This week marks Empty Homes Week 2019 and Cotswold District Council is working with the national campaign charity ‘Empty Homes’ to highlight the 216,000 long term unoccupied houses in the UK.
In the Cotswolds there are currently 714 residences stood vacant and unused, 189 of which have been for over 2 years. It is estimated that such a property can cost the owner up to £10,000 per year in security, repairs, insurance, and council tax.
There are currently 45 households that Cotswold District Council have accepted a homelessness duty to rehouse and an additional 26 households who are threatened with homelessness. This can be for a variety of reasons, ranging from relationship breakdowns, unaffordable rents, financial difficulties or landlords wishing to sell their properties to name just a few.
Empty homes are a waste of a valuable asset especially when over 1900 people are registered on our Homeseeker Plus waiting list, hundreds of whom have been awarded priority bandings.
The local authority charges a 100% premium on council tax for any house left empty for more than 2 years. The Government has agreed to double the total cost from April 2019 on owners who refuse to address the issue.
The Council has the power to enforce Empty Dwelling Management Orders and Compulsory Purchase Orders but we are keen to work with and support owners to bring their houses back into use.
Cllr Lisa Spivey, cabinet member for housing and homelessness said, “Landlords and home owners who have long term empty properties can make a big difference if they let their properties to those in need of housing in the district. The truth is if we could bring these empty properties into use, it would make a positive dent in the number of individuals and families currently on the housing register. It's a scandal that so many homes are left vacant when there are people in desperate need in the district. The package of incentives to bring these homes back into use make it easy for property owners to start maximising their assets, so it's a win-win situation for all. I would encourage anyone who has an empty property to get in touch."
If you are interested in more information about the charity ‘Empty Homes’ see;
Cotswolds District Council would like to work with you to bring your property back into use. We can offer a range of benefits including rent in advance, a cash deposit, property inspections and tenancy support in addition to a ‘tenant matching’ service.
You can contact Charlotte Smith, Private Rental Scheme Officer on 01285 623391, email@example.com if you are interested in letting your property to someone on our Homeseeker Plus waiting list.