Empty Homes Team
Dept. for Development and Regeneration
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Empty homes in Plymouth
In October 2010 there were 769 privately owned homes that had been empty for over six months. This is an unacceptable wasted housing resource when there are families in need of homes.
The empty homes strategy 2008 to 2011 outlines the work of the empty homes team.
Housing strategy and empty homes delivery plan 2011 to 2016
A five year empty homes delivery plan will be published this year to support the delivery of the four main themes of the City's Housing Strategy:
- Growing the city
- Successful communities
- Better homes – healthy lives
- Housing choices – smarter solutions
From April 2011 the city will receive new homes bonus for each home brought back into use, making it important for the city to maximise the use of its existing private sector housing stock.
The impact of empty homes
Empty homes can soon become an eyesore, spoiling the environment and reducing the value of adjoining properties by up to 20 per cent.
Empty properties can also cause damage to adjoining houses and attract criminal and antisocial behaviour such as arson, vandalism and fly tipping.
In one year alone it costs the owner of an empty property upwards of £10,000 in lost rental income, together with the cost of council tax, damage, deterioration and high insurance premiums.
Over the last five years the Council’s intervention has helped owners to re-use over 400 properties. On average 25 per cent had been empty for over three years, a loss of an estimated £30,000 to each owner.
Reporting an empty home
If you know of a problem empty property and want to refer it to the empty homes team or simply want more information about our work please complete our online form.
Help for owners of empty properties
The empty homes team is ready to offer you help and advice. If you own or are thinking of buying an empty property you can give the team a call to talk about the incentives currently available to help you renovate, buy, sell or let the property.
Letting your property
If you want specific advice about letting out your property even if it is not empty yet look no further. The team runs two highly successful professional lettings schemes HouseLet and EasyLet. Our experienced negotiator is on hand to provide rental guidance and discuss the benefits of each scheme and to find out which one will suit you best.
We always try to work with owners of empty property but sometimes our help is declined. That is fine as long as the owner has a plan and sticks to it. If the property becomes a problem and the owner is taking the 'do nothing' approach we will have no option but to use enforcement action.
We work with a range of other Council departments making use of a range of enforcement powers to ensure owners bring long term empty property back into use.