Empty Homes


Bringing empty homes back into use and how Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) can help.

There are many reasons why a home may be empty but bringing properties back into use can have benefits to the owner and improve the whole community, especially when housing is in such short supply.

It is estimated the cost of leaving a home empty can be as high as over £13,000 a year after taking into account lost rent, taxes, insurance and deterioration of the property value.

Did you know that if a property has been lying empty and unfurnished for over two years, a 200% council tax (from 1 April 2020) may be charged? 

Empty homes can be easy targets for crime, vandalism, squatters and general anti-social behaviour. The potential consequences of such actions can become very expensive for the owners, who are already missing out on the potential income from renting or selling that property.

Reporting an Empty Home

Whether it is your own home or you are aware of an empty property which could be brought back into use, you can report it or ask us for advice by emailing housing@molevalley.gov.uk

Bringing Your Empty Home Back Into Use

MVDC can help you. Options available include:

  • Advice and assistance
  • let the property direct to a tenant
  • let the property through the Council's Rent Deposit Bond scheme
  • let the property through a private letting agent
  • repair/convert the property for occupation
  • sell the property at auction
  • sell the property on the open market

The Council’s Rent Deposit Bond scheme

What can the Rent Deposit Scheme offer if you decide to rent your property out?

·  Help in finding a suitable tenant

·  Guarantee a deposit (called a bond) to cover damage to the property and any rent arrears

·   Ensure ongoing tenant and landlord support is provided

·   A full inventory service

MVDC can offer free advice and information, including on tenancies and housing issues. For further advice please see the links and downloads below or contact us by emailing housing@molevalley.gov.uk

Enforcement Action

We will always try to work with the owners of an empty property and offer options, advice and assistance wherever possible.  If all other options have been exhausted, MVDC will consider the legal powers available to bring an empty home back into use. This may include:

Empty Dwelling Management Order – Where the Council serves a notice to repair the property and recovers the cost by renting the property for a specified period. After that period, the property is returned for use by the owner.

Compulsory Purchase Order – The Council acquires the property to sell it on the open market so that it can be occupied

Enforced Sale -   The Council can register some debts relating to an empty property as a Local Land Charge. If the debts are not repaid the Courts can allow the Council to sell the property to recover those debts.