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Bringing empty homes back into use

We are urging people with empty homes to bring them back into use and help provide the housing the community needs.

Our Empty Homes Officer works with the owners of empty homes to advise on returning their properties back into use. If owners refuse to engage, or don't make enough progress, we can carry out enforcement action. You can read more about empty homes issues on the Empty Homes Agency website.

How can you help?

We need the help of residents, landlords and owners to help identify empty flats and houses. To report an empty property please complete our reporting form here or email info@copeland.gov.uk

What should I do if I own an empty property?

An empty home costs you money and could be lived in by someone who needs it, becoming an asset to you and the community.

You could choose to sell or rent out your home. Click here for information about selling your property.

Property guardianship can help keep a property ‘lived in’ and secure, and could mean you pay less council tax and insurance. Guardians are not tenants and are strictly vetted by agencies.

How much could your empty property be costing you?

Your empty property could be costing you several thousand pounds every year in council tax, utilities, standing charges, insurance and deterioration. You are also losing potential rent. An average two-bed home in Copeland rents at about £400 a month.

Empty homes can also attract vandals and fly tipping, and the property may deteriorate quickly, incurring costs. This could all reduce the value of the property, and it could be subject to our enforcement action.

Tax relief on renovations and alterations on residential properties.

Renovations and alterations to homes empty for two years are texed at just 5% VAT instead of the usual 20%. We can provide a letter to say how long your property has been empty.

Further information on this reduced rate is available at the HMRC website.

Enforcement action

As a last resort, we will take enforcement action to ensure the property is brought back into use.