What if I do nothing?
Taking enforcement action is always our last resort
Empty homes that are left unoccupied and in disrepair are at risk of being broken into by vandals and squatters and over time they will begin to have a negative impact on their surroundings. Neighbouring properties may also be affected.
We understand that there is always a reason why a property is empty, or why it hasn’t been regularly maintained. We would rather work with you rather than take enforcement action against you, so please contact us, or respond when we get in touch. Enforcement action can be avoided by communication.
What enforcement action can we take?
We may take enforcement action against you if your property:
- Is adversely affecting the amenity of an area,
- Where the property is dangerous or requires boarding up,
- Where the property is likely to become a danger to public health
- Where a hazard exists at a property that has the potential to result in harm
- Where the property is attracting pests
Such action may require you carry out remedial works within a specific time period. Any enforcement notices may also incur a charge.
What if ignore the notice?
- Criminal Offence
You may be committing a criminal offence by not complying with a notice. If so the we may pursue a prosecution against you, which could result in a criminal record. You may also by fined on conviction by a magistrate (on top of the enforcement fee and court costs). We may carry out the works, specified in the notice, and recharge you. This will include the full cost of the works as well any additional costs and this may be added as a land charge to your property. We may also force the sale of the property in order to recover our expenses.
- Forced Sale
Where a local land charge has been made on an empty property (possibly through enforcement action) the council can force the sale of the property to a third party.
- Compulsory Purchase Order
The Council may exercise the right to buy the property without the owner’s consent using compulsory purchase powers.
- Empty dwelling management order (EDMO)
- Interim EDMO - if the owner has refused all requests to bring a dwelling back into use or work with us to sell or rent, we will seek approval from the Residential Property Tribunal Service for an Empty Dwelling Management Order. This means that we will take control of the property but may not tenant the property without the owner’s permission. If at this stage the owner still refuses to co-operate in bringing the property back into use, we will apply for a final EDMO.
- Final EDMO - all properties with a final EDMO will be brought up to the Decent Homes Standard and tenanted. The rent collected will be used to offset the costs incurred by the Council in bringing the property back into use. Any surpluses will be paid to the owner on expiry of the order. A final EDMO lasts for a fixed period of no more than seven years. However, the period can be repeated if costs are still outstanding to us or it is believed that the property will not remain occupied if returned to the owner. With a final EDMO in place, we do not require the consent of the owner to grant occupation rights.