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Empty homes

Empty homes service standards

Who we are

Wyre Council, and in particular the teams responsible Housing Services, Planning, Environmental Protection and Building Control, is responsible for implementing and coordinating the Empty Property Strategy and provides advice and information on empty and derelict homes across the borough. We aim to reduce the numbers of empty homes, through partnership working with property owners, private developers, housing associations and a range of council services. We will try to do this through liaison and negotiation wherever possible, but we may also use enforcement if necessary.

What we will do

Bringing empty homes back into use can be a long, complex and labour intensive process. Whilst we will deal with any matters that need urgent attention unfortunately we are not able to deal comprehensively with all empty homes immediately.

  •  if you have reported an empty property to us, we will acknowledge your report and contact you to discuss the property within five working days
  • we will survey empty homes and assess the impact they are having on the community, scoring them according to a formula which takes into account matters such as length of time they have been empty, state of repair, maintenance of gardens, impact on the neighbourhood
  • we will aim to resolve any issues at the property which need immediate attention such as dangerous structures affecting public space, tipping of household refuse, statutory nuisance, etc. which we have legal powers to deal with
  • we will maintain and update a list of empty homes and will co-ordinate comprehensive action dealing with the worst first

Once we open a case

  • we will endeavour to trace and engage with the owner of the empty home, offering advice and assistance wherever possible in an effort to get the property back into use
  • we will utilise negotiation in the first instance, but in serious cases, where negotiation has failed or there is a need for immediate action, we will consider the use of enforcement action
  • we will utilise Planning, Housing, Building Control or Public Health legislation to achieve our aims

What we cannot do

  •  we cannot provide confidential details of property ownership or an individual owner’s circumstances to a complainant
  •  we cannot promise a speedy resolution in every instance owing to the often complicated issues surrounding property ownership and/or the timescales required to implement legislation

How you can help

  • you should provide accurate details and as much background information as possible when reporting an empty home
  • please contact us again if the situation deteriorates
  • as an empty home owner, you should engage with us as quickly as possible in order to establish an agreed course of action. We can assist with advice and provision of information on schemes that may be available to bring the property back into use, which may also include access to grant or loan funding for repairs