Bring your empty home back to life

Published: 16 October 2017

Redbridge Council is using the national initiative ‘Empty Homes Week’ (Monday 16 October to Sunday 22 October) to urge owners to take advantage of the significant grants and advice on offer and bring their empty properties back into use.

Properties that have been empty for more than 12 months are eligible for a grant which covers up to 50 per cent of the cost of the renovation work required, with a maximum limit of £30,000 dependent on the number of bedrooms in the property.

In addition the Council can support owners with finding tenants and creating an income.

Owners can also get on-going help with finding contractors and advice for example, where reduced rate VAT might apply.

With ambitious targets to increase the quantity and availability of high quality affordable housing, bringing these empty homes back into use is a priority for the Council. Their first aim is to work with owners but where an owner is unwilling to bring a property into use, the Council may take action to get the property renovated and re-occupied.
Neighbours are also being encouraged to help identify empty or abandoned properties by informing the Council’s Private Sector Housing team by phone, email or online.

Empty properties can often be identified through pointers such as untidy gardens, dereliction and neglect.

Some empty properties are well-maintained and less easy to spot. If a resident knows of a property like this we encourage them to contact us.

Councillor Farah Hussain, Cabinet member for Housing said, “We aim to bring empty properties back into use to increase housing supply and reduce homelessness.

“We understand that there may be many reasons why a home may be empty, but an empty property can often be a target for vandalism, anti-social behaviour and arson and can cause damage to neighbouring properties. This is why we encourage owners and neighbours to come forward and help us identify empty homes.”

The Council’s Private Sector Housing team will be at the Town Hall on 17 October for the Landlord forum to provide information about the Empty Property Grant and offer advice.

Residents can report an empty property on our empty properties page, by emailing to empty.homes@redbridge.gov.uk or by phoning 020 8708 5361.

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