Problems with empty homes

Updated: 21 May 2018
An empty home is a missed opportunity
Private rented sector to let signs
Anyone who is unfortunate enough to have lived next door to a property that has been left empty for a long period of time will understand the sheer frustration and misery such a situation can create. Poorly maintained empty properties are not only unsightly and unattractive, they seriously reduce the value of adjoining properties.
  • Empty homes represent waste, financial expense and missed opportunity. They can blight communities, attract vandals and squatters and tie up the resources of local authorities and the emergency services.
  • Bringing empty homes back into use is a sustainable way to meet future housing demand and helps to alleviate pressure to develop greenfield sites.
  • Empty homes can quickly fall into disrepair and the longer they remain empty the more likely it is that they will become derelict and prohibitively expensive to bring back into use.
  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors estimates that properties adjoining poorly maintained empty homes can be devalued by 18 per cent.
  • The Empty Homes Agency claims that its research has shown that refurbishing old buildings could save more carbon dioxide emissions than building environmentally friendly new ones over the short term.
  • New legislation could mean that you will have to pay rates on any empty properties you own.
If you own an empty home, find out more about renting it out or selling it.