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Empty properties

Information about what the council is doing to reduce empty homes, why they are a problem, what can be a done if a person leaves a property empty, reporting an empty property, contacting the owner of an empty property and how to report an unsecured building open to public access.

What is the council doing to reduce the number of empty homes?

The private sector housing team is trying to reduce the number of homes left empty for lengthy periods of time to get maximum use from the housing stock available in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The idea is to tackle the issues behind a home being left empty so that it can be brought back in to use. Read more about the problems with empty properties.

What is the Empty Homes Strategy?

The Empty Homes Strategy draws on current good practice in dealing with empty homes in the East Riding. It identifies the scale of the issue, together with the options and resources available to bring empty properties back into use and to address the adverse impact on local neighbourhoods and economic regeneration.

Why is an empty property a problem?

A property is an excellent investment and asset, but when left empty it is put at risk of falling into disrepair, attracting vandalism, unsociable behaviour and fly tipping. Also, an empty property will depreciate rapidly in value. Owners of empty properties are losing money on their asset, which should really be making them money. 
 
There is a huge demand for housing and letting out a flat or house can provide a significant income. The council are able to offer valuable advice and support to owners of empty properties. However, when negotiations do not succeed, a range of powers are available to make sure the property is reused which include; compulsory purchase, enforced sale and the introduction of Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO) which can put owners at risk of losing control of their property.

What can the council do if a person leaves a property empty?

Properties are left empty for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, owners need help and guidance to bring them back into use, for example, advice about how to sell the property, or how to go about renting it out. In the first instance, the council will work with owners to help them to find a solution to get the property brought back into use.

If the owner of an empty property does not work with the council or makes insufficient effort to bring an empty property back into use, it may be necessary to take formal action which can include:

  • applying for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on a property which is derelict or abandoned and where the owner provides no plans for bringing the property back into use
  • using the enforced sales procedure, which enables the council to sell any vacant property to recover debt owing to the council.  Where there is money owing to the council, a charge is placed on the property before it is sold through an auction
  • applying for an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO). Once approved, an EDMO gives the council the right to possession of a property without taking over its ownership. Once an EDMO has been made, the council can do most things the owner would normally be entitled to do with the property, such as; entering it to inspect its condition and even manage it.

How do I report an empty property?

Report an empty property

Please note: if the building is a danger to the public due to its condition, please call (01482) 393939.

How can I contact the owner of an empty property that I am interested in buying?

There are a number of ways you can try to make contact with the owner of an empty property. The following pdf document provides some useful tips on how to trace the owner of an empty property.

Tracing the Owner of an Empty Property (pdf 169kb opens in new window)

Alternatively, we may be able to pass your interest in buying the property on to the owner or legal representative should we have a record of their address. We cannot guarantee a response, as it would be up to the owner to decide if they wish to contact you.

Should you want to do this, you should send a letter to the Empty Property Officer, Private Sector Housing, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Town Hall, Quay Road, Bridlington, YO16 4LP. In the letter you should state that your reason for making contact is that you are a potential purchaser and include your full contact details and that you give consent for us to pass your details to the owner.