Empty properties

Empty Homes Review

The Council is required by law to maintain accurate Council Tax records and has asked Capacitygrid to review all empty homes within the area.  This is also in support of the Government’s initiative to tackle the shortfall in national housing. 

As part of the Empty Homes Review, you must inform us via Capacitygrid if the above property is occupied or not.  If Capacitygrid do not receive a response, an inspection of the property will be carried out.

Empty property initiative

We don’t want to see homes lying empty when there is such high housing demand. 

We have an empty property initiative to help owners to bring their properties back into use and want to encourage residents to report the location of empty homes so we can make them available for people to live in. 

There are a number of reasons why a property can remain empty, the most common ones include:

  • properties awaiting a change of owner
  • owners lack information on options available to bring properties back into use
  • properties left empty because the owner has moved into residential care
  • delays or disputes in the administration of the estate where the owner has died
  • perceived problems with renting the property, owner waiting for an increase in the market value before selling
  • lack of finance to carry out the necessary repairs
  • owners are unaware they own a property or they live elsewhere


What should I do if I know the location of an empty property?

Long-term empty properties can be a target for vandals and arsonists and can attract antisocial behaviour. If you have a long term empty property in your street let us know by completing the online form.

Report an empty property


If you are the owner of an empty property you can get advice and assistance by contacting our Empty Homes Officer. You can contact them by emailing empty.homes@redbridge.gov.uk

The type of advice and assistance available includes:

  • how to secure your property to prevent squatting
  • deciding whether to owner-occupy, rent out or sell your property
  • leasing your property to the Council at Redbridge - Let to Redbridge
  • how to organise building work and choosing a good builder
  • liaising with Planning and Building Control
  • enquiries for a discount or exemption from Council Tax
  • VAT reductions available when refurbishing long term empty properties
  • getting access to empty homes grants 
  • converting properties into shared accommodation, bedsits or flats
  • becoming a private landlord and joining the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme


Grants are available to help renovate properties that have been empty for more than 6 months. The grants cover up to 50% of the cost of works with the maximum limit dependent on the number of bedrooms. Terms and conditions apply.

If you decide to lease your property to us, it will be used to provide accommodation for homeless families. The appointed managing agent would be responsible for the day to day management issues and you would receive a guaranteed monthly income. 

Email empty.homes@redbridge.gov.uk


Where owners are reluctant or unable to bring a property back into use, we may use a number of legal powers to try and get the property renovated and re-occupied.

These powers include:

  • compulsory purchase orders
  • enforced sale
  • empty dwelling management orders

It can be a long and complex process so we will only take enforcement action where it is necessary.  We also have powers available to intervene where an empty property is damaging neighbouring properties, is causing a public health hazard, or if the property has become insecure


Redbridge has refreshed and reintroduced its Empty Property Strategy. This explains how the Council will tackle the issue of privately owned empty houses within the borough to get them back into use as a home.

For more information, please see our 2024 Empty Property Strategy


We receive a large number of requests under the Freedom of Information Act asking for lists of empty properties in Redbridge. We hold - through Council Tax records - information about empty residential properties. We consider disclosing this information would make them a target of crime. The legislation says that we do not need to provide information that would be likely to prejudice the functions of law enforcement (the prevention and detection of crime). Our policy, in accordance with the Act, is not to release this information.