Rossendale Borough Council

Empty homes

Recycling empty homes

Empty homes are a wasted resource considering the number of people on housing waiting lists and others looking for alternative forms of affordable housing.

Rossendale Borough Council is seeking your assistance in identifying long term empty homes in the area so that we can offer their owners advice and support to bring them back into use.  An empty home is defined as a home that has been empty for six months or longer.

Benefits to the local community include:

  • Improves the appearance of the neighborhood
  • Provide housing for local people in need of a home
  • Eases the pressure for development on greenfield sites
  • Increases the value of neighboring homes
  • Increases trade for local shops and businesses
  • Reduces the risk of squatters, vandalism and crime

Benefits to the property owner include:

  • Peace of mind and additional security
  • An occupied home in good condition will increase in value
    Rental income
  • Council Tax paid by tenants

What are the options available to property owners?

Rossendale Borough Council, through its Empty Homes Policy and emerging Vacant Property Strategy is seeking to help owners find the best way of bringing their properties back into use.  The Council's Housing Regeneration Projects Officer can give advice and support to owners of empty homes regarding the options that are available to them.

Options worth considering include:

  • Renting out the property through a lettings agent
  • Renting out the property yourself
  • Selling the property to a housing association or developer
  • Repairing/converting the property for occupation
  • Living in the property yourself

Where negotiations with the owner have been exhausted or broken down the Council has powers to take enforcement action against an owner to carry out repair works.  The Council may also consider making an enforced sale or Compulsory Purchase Order - particularly if the property has been vacant for a number of years, or if the property has fallen into serious disrepair.

Rossendale Borough Council is committed to recycling empty homes by working with other departments in the Council, the public, owners, other landlords and organisations to find ways in which empty homes can be returned to occupation.

If you know of an empty home, we would like to hear from you so that we can help the owners bring them back into use.