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Empty properties

Bringing empty property back into use is an integral part of our vision to ensure that all the people of Rossendale have access to decent affordable housing that enables a good quality of life.

Properties that stand empty cause a nuisance for neighbourhoods. They can become a target for vandals and attract anti-social behaviour. Empty properties deteriorate in condition faster than occupied homes, and can affect the value of neighbouring properties.

We are 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.

What can you do?

Finding out who owns a property

You can find current owners details by contacting the Land Registry  or by calling them on 0203 9276 8888. They can carry out a land registry search on the property, which may reveal the name of the legal owner, although some properties are not registered and there is a chance that they may be out of date. There is a £3.00 charge for the service.

It is also worth looking at the online Register of Planning Applications

When a planning application is made, the owner’s details (or an agent acting for them) are shown and this information is available to the public. 

Let us know if you live near an empty property

Complain in Confidence: If you report an empty property, we will not disclose your details to the property owner. Most importantly, we need to know the address of the empty property, but any further information that you can provide about its condition and the length of time it has been empty will help us understand the situation.

We have Officers to help deal with these issues and encourage the owners of empty properties to bring these much needed homes back in to occupation.

If you own or live near an empty property, please complete our empty properties reporting online form

Any information that you supply will only be held by us, and any personal information you supply will only be used to help us make enquiries and will not be disclosed to any third party unless otherwise stated. 

If yoy would like to report a domestic property that is open to access by anyone you can report it to us using our Property Open to Access form

What we will do with this information?

•We will identify and make contact with the owner (we will not disclose your details)

•We will visit the empty property

•If the property or land is causing a nuisance to the community then we have powers to undertake works to deal with the issue

•If the owner is unwilling to work with us to bring the property back into use then we have a number of ways to deal with the empty property, detailed below. 

For more information or to speak to someone about an empty property please contact us using the details below.


What the Council can do about empty and derelict properties

Whenever possible we will try to improve housing standards by providing information, guidance and general support to landlords, and owner-occupiers. However, some properties that are left empty for long periods can be poorly maintained and have a negative effect on neighbouring properties. In this case, we have a range of powers available. Such as

  • Serve Notice on owners whose property is causing statutory nuisance where the owner has failed to willingly remedy the cause
  • Carry out the works ‘in default’, should an owner refuse to comply with the terms of the Notice within the timescale given. This will result in a charge being registered against the property. The charge will also include an administration fee.

As a last resort, we may consider using powers to remove ownership so it can be reoccupied. This is only when the property has been empty for a substantial period of time and where negotiations with owners has failed and it is felt that it is unlikely to be brought back into use without this action. Properties will be considered carefully by officers from different sections in the council to ensure that all other options have been exhausted. There are three options that we can choose to use:

  • Compulsory Purchase Orders (Section 17 1985 Housing Act)
  • Enforced Sale (section 103 Law of property Act)
  • Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) (Housing Act 2004)