Many homes have a genuine reason for being empty.
They may be:
- On the market
- Being renovated
But some homes are empty because the owner:
- Does not know what to do with them
- Does not have the time, knowledge or money to make them ready for occupation
- Is content to leave them unoccupied
We want to support these owners to help bring these homes back into use.
Being responsible for an empty property can be expensive.
Owners can be faced with the cost of:
- Full Council Tax - rising to 150% if the property has been empty for longer than two years
- Security measures
- Regular inspections
- Repair and maintenance
We have legal powers to deal with empty properties that:
- Are in a bad state of repair
- Cause problems for neighbours or the community
- Have been left empty for a significant amount of time
These powers include:
- Boarding up
- Enforced sale
- Compulsory purchase orders
I have an empty property. What help is available to me?
Sell your property
Contact local estate agents and auction houses.
Rent your property
You can either let your property privately or through a recognised letting agent.
Please visit these pages for more information:
The YMCA lease and repair scheme
We are working with the YMCA to bring long-term empty properties back into use.
The YMCA will pay for any works needed to make the property habitable.
In return they will:
- Lease the property for 5-10 years
- Rent it out to a household in housing need
- Manage the tenancy for you
- Guarantee you a rental income
If you are interested in this option and would like to find out more, please contact:
Greg Smith - YMCA
Renovate your property
Trading standards in West Sussex provide useful advice for those undertaking building works.
Their ‘Buy with Confidence’ scheme has a regularly updated list of approved traders.
To request a Buy with confidence directory - Tel: 01243-642124
Properties that have been empty for a certain amount of time can benefit from a VAT discount on any works bringing the home back into use.
We can confirm how long a property has been empty to help the owner get this reduction. For more information - see the HM Revenue website.
I would like to report an empty property
If you are aware of an empty property in the district - please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am interested in buying an empty property
Please note: We cannot release a list of empty properties due to data protection.
For a small fee, you can find current owners details by contacting the Land Registry.
It is also useful to contact estate agents and auctioneers who may have empty properties on their books. Or to register your interest for properties that will be sold in the future.
Housing Enabling and Development Officer