Empty Homes

Enforcement Action

Notice service

We can serve a notice on a freeholder, leaseholder, agent or person managing a property requiring them to carry out works to comply with housing, environmental protection and dangerous structure law. The notice may specify a time limit for the work to start and complete.

If the work has not been done within the required time, we can in some instances carry out the works in default and/or refer the matter for prosecution.

Work in default

Where owners have failed to comply with certain notices served under the Housing, Public Health or Environmental Protection Acts, we may make arrangements to carry out the works in default of the owner.

The cost of the works plus an administrative charge of 20% will be recovered from the owner.


We may refer cases for prosecution if the owner fails to do the necessary work. We have an active prosecution policy, although each case is judged on its merits.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders

In part 4 of the Housing Act 2004, the government introduce a new power Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) that give the council powers to compulsorily lease empty homes that have been vacant for longer than two years, where other options have been unsuccessful. We will ensure the property is secured and repaired, re-occupied and properly managed.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Compulsory Purchase Orders are a final sanction for local authorities to improve private sector housing where other options such as offers of grants or notices have failed.

Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 gives local authorities the power to acquire buildings and land through compulsory purchase. This allows Compulsory Purchase Orders to be made for the purpose of providing housing accommodation or facilities connected to housing accommodation - for example environmental improvements. We have an active compulsory purchase programme.


For further information please contact the empty homes team.

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