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Empty homes

Responsible ownership

As an empty home owner, you should engage with us as quickly as possible in order to establish an agreed course of action.

Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of criminal damage occurring to an empty home: 

  • make it look occupied. Curtains and nets at the windows give the impression that the property is occupied. You could put a lamp on a timer so it comes on in the evening and goes off again during the day
  • switch off the utilities especially if it is likely to be some time before a home is reoccupied
  • maintain the exterior property by cleaning the windows and guttering, dealing with repairs quickly and keeping it secure. You will be liable if poor maintenance of your property has an impact on the neighbouring houses
  • keep the gardens clear of rubbish. Overgrown gardens seem to attract fly tipping and vermin, which the owner becomes responsible for
  • if you're in the process of renovating a house, make sure all building materials are hidden in the property and out of sight
  • keeping the property fully secure should minimise the risk of unauthorised entry and anything of value removed, including copper piping from under floorboards, boilers and so on
  • remove mail regularly
We prefer to work with owners to encourage responsible home ownership. However, we do have legislation that we can use. Where owners don't respond to requests to improve the condition of their property, particularly when it is affecting others, we may undertake the work and charge the owner.