Empty properties blight communities because they deteriorate rapidly and can become targets for vandalism and crime. To tackle the issue, we have a strategy in place to help reduce the number of long-term empty dwellings in the borough.
What defines an empty home?
An empty home is a dwelling that has been unoccupied for more than 6 months (excluding council owned properties).
I, or someone I know, own an empty home. What can be done to bring it back in to use?
If you own an empty home you will know that instead of earning you money, it is costing you money. There are a number of options available to you depending on the condition of the property:
Letting: if the property is in good condition, you could let your property. You can do this yourself or through an established local letting agent. You will pay a fee to the agent to manage the property on your behalf. If you decide to let the property yourself, it is important that you understand the law before you let to a tenant. A member of our Homelessness Advice & Prevention Team can go through the legislation with you. We can also inspect your property to tell you if it is suitable for letting.
Sale: if you do not wish to let your property, you could consider selling it. You can sell through an estate agent or a property auction. Auctions can be a quicker way of selling an empty home, especially if it needs renovating, as many developers and cash buyers go to auctions specifically looking for empty homes.
Speak to the Affordable Housing Team: Fylde Council have created an Empty Homes project which aims to work with Registered Providers to purchase empty homes, renovate them and make them a much needed part of Affordable Housing in Fylde. If you wish to speak to someone regarding this scheme, please complete the form and an affordable housing officer will be in touch.
What can the Council do if I leave my property empty?
If you own an empty home and refuse to co-operate in bringing the property back into use or selling it, the Council can take enforcement action. The Council can serve various legal notices to force owners to take action to repair, make safe or demolish the property. If works are carried out by the Council because of a failure to do so by the owner, a legal charge is placed on the property which allows the Council to recover the cost when the property is sold or ownership changes in another way. In some cases, the Council can enforce the sale of a property where it has registered a legal charge so that the money owed can be recovered.