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Empty properties

We can offer advice and information to owners of empty properties and there is information regarding enforcement action, for extreme cases where properties are left unoccupied for a prolonged time and in a poor state of repair, and where owners are unwilling to deal with them.

Follow our Empty Property Pathway tool below, to see where and how to get advice and help.

Empty property path

Can I get help letting my empty property?

The Kemble Managed Leasing Scheme (KMLS) is designed to take the stress out of letting a property, with rent guaranteed and full management for the duration of the lease. 

The owner of the empty property will enter into a lease agreement with Kemble Housing Association for a three year period. 

Benefits include:

  • Rent guaranteed for the duration of the three year lease, even if the property is unoccupied
  • Competitive rent level
  • Hassle free full management
  • Long term tenants
  • No set-up fees, free inventories and no charge for re-letting
  • Free legal fees in relation to tenancy matters.

If you own an empty property and would like to find out more about the scheme please contact Kemble direct on:

Can I get financial help renovating my empty property?

There are currently no grants or financial assistance available through the council but you may wish to see if you are eligible for a VAT reduction.

VAT reduction

If a residential property has remained empty for two or more years, the owner may qualify for a reduced VAT rate of five per cent on most of the renovation costs. We can provide written confirmation that will allow the owner to claim the reduced VAT rate.

If the owner uses a VAT registered builder to undertake the work, the VAT they charge on the works will be at the lower rate. The builder is responsible for claiming the difference from Revenue and Customs.

If you own an empty property and would like to find out more the VAT reduction please contact the Council Tax department direct on:


What can the council do to force the owner of an empty property to bring it back into use?

We can take action against owners of empty properties who persistently refuse to cooperate with requests from us to maintain or secure a property and who have resisted all attempts by the us to bring their property back into use.

The following lists the different types of enforcement action we can take:

Unsightly properties

Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 gives local councils the powers to address unsightly land or the external appearance of an empty property which is causing issues for neighbouring properties or the community.

Unsecure properties

Due to potential hazards, section 29 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 gives local councils the power to secure an empty property by either boarding up or fencing off the property.

Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO)

The Housing Act 2004 gives local councils the power to take over the management of an empty property. Empty Dwelling Management Orders can be made against properties that have been empty for more than six months, although some properties may be exempt. An Empty Dwelling Management Order could mean a landlord loses the right to decide how the property is managed and who lives in it. The only sure way to prevent this from happening is for the owner to bring the property back into use.

Enforced sale

The Law and Property Act 1925 gives local councils the rights of a mortgage lender where the local council has issued and enforced a land charge against a property, so that a sale can be enforced to recover the debt.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)

Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 gives local councils the power to acquire buildings and land through compulsory purchase. This allows Compulsory Purchase Orders to be made for the purpose of providing housing accommodation or facilities connected to housing accommodation, for example environmental improvements. A Compulsory Purchase Order is an extreme measure and a lengthy administrative task and will only be considered when all other options have been exhausted.

For further information please contact us:

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