View more on these topics

Empty homes to be seized by government

Homes that are left empty for more than six months can be seized by councils and converted into social housing under new legislation due to come into force next month.

The Empty Dwelling Management Order allows local housing authorities to effectively step into the shoes of the owner of an unoccupied property if it is unlikely to be occupied in the near future.

Owners will be paid any surplus revenue left after the LA has accounted for conversion and running costs.

The Department of Communities and Local Government says the legislation is in response to the shortage of housing stock and adds it is difficult to justify building more new homes when 250,000 stand empty.

Empty homes are often a bone of contention in communities as they are seen to encourage swatters and drug users, lower the tone and therefore value of a neighbourhood and contribute nothing towards the shortage of housing stock.

There is also a long list of individuals and families in a queue for social housing that could benefit from the scheme,

However, it has already attracted some media criticism as bereaved families could see the homes of their dead relatives commandeered if they do not sell or rent them out six months after a death.

A spokesman for the DCLG says: The owner retains the ownership right and can dispose of their dwelling rights at any time or seek revocation of an order to enable sale or to otherwise secure occupation.

Recommended

Market strength not helping FTBs

The failure of the widely predicted housing market downturn to materialise has served to spur more households to trade up to larger properties rather than encourage first-time buyers, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

JEREZ 2006: FSA admits TCF contradiction

Speaking at the Mortgage Summit in Jerez today, Michael Lord, head of mortgage and credit unions at the Financial Services Authority, admitted that it is possible for a broker to comply with all its rules and still not be treating the customer fairly.He says: I accept that it is possible for a broker to abide […]

BMW and MINI launch into personal finance

BMW Financial Services and Money by MINI are launching a range of personal finance product ranges including house insurance. The products include BMW and MINI eSaver savings account, to save towards a vehicle, home insurance, a guaranteed performance bond, 50:50 bond and two co-branded credit cards – BMW Card from American Express and the MINI […]

Wannabe inspectors could lose out

I received an email from Tory leader David Cameron last week. He says I’m right to be anti- Home Information Packs because they’re pants. Well, I paraphrase on account of limited space. And it wasn’t actually Cameron who wrote, it was his correspondence secretary.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up