Nationally we have a housing crisis. The charity “Shelter” has estimated that 320,000 people do not have a home to live in across the UK. In order to help meet the demand of homes for everyone we are considering different options from building more homes to utilising empty properties.

As Portsmouth is an island, and spare land a premium, building more housing can be difficult. Therefore identifying empty properties to bring back into use, it is felt, will:

  • benefit those who are need of a home
  • improve the local community and continue to help it thrive
  • helps the freeholder of the empty property realise their properties full potential.

What is an empty property?

In Portsmouth, an empty residential property is one that has not been lived in for more than 6 months.

What problems can they cause?

An empty property can:

  • Attract anti-social behaviour
  • Cause concern with the gardens becoming overgrown
  • Potentially allow free movement for pests.
  • Attract rubbish in front forecourt where fly tipping can occur.
  • Cause disrepair to attached properties on party walls

What help is available for owners of empty properties?

If you have an empty property we can

  • Provide a low interest empty residential property loan to carry out necessary repairs to bring a property back to use (this is applicable for properties that have been empty for more than 12 months)
  • Provide you with the information to support you with the decision to sell or rent the property.
  • Manage the property for you – simply sign it over to us and become part of our leasing scheme

If you do not live local, or are struggling with the idea of trying to manage the property, you can sign it over to the Council completely through our Rent it Right scheme / leasing schemes. This way you get an income every month without any worry about renting the house.

What can happen if an empty property is left for more than 2 years?

Central government has provided powers to local authorities to ensure that all available housing is utilised. This means that any residential property that is empty for more than 2 years, which does not fall within exemptions set out by the Housing Act 2004, can be subject to legislation to bring the property back into use. This can mean that the Council can take over the management of the property through an EDMO (Empty Dwelling Management Order) or Compulsory Purchase Order a property (CPO).

For further information refer to our Empty Private Residential Property Strategy 2019-2024.