Information on vacant and derelict property

Empty property strategy

With increased pressure being placed on local authorities to find housing for people on their housing needs register, it is no longer acceptable for residential properties to be vacant for long periods of time.

We have compiled a register of properties which have been empty for more than 12 months. The owners of these properties are being targeted and encouraged to bring these properties back into residential use.

Benefits to the owner

By renting out your empty property you are providing a valuable home to someone, as well as receiving an income. There is also a reduction in repair costs of damage caused by vandals.

A property that has been empty for a long period of time can cost its owner up to £10,000 per year in rent loss, council tax, insurance, dilapidation and security measures.

Empty properties are often targets for vandals and are a focus of anti-social behaviour. Damage occurring can be extensive and attract complaints from neighbours.

Benefits to the community

  • Increased pool of available housing
  • Reduced use of greenfield sites for houses
  • Enhances the local area by reducing eyesores
  • Reduces the incidents of vandalism and squatters
  • Eliminates blight on neighbouring properties

What can Cheltenham Borough Council do to help?

We can provide guidance and support to property owners, with information on local letting agents or whether financial assistance is available. Owners have several options available to them in deciding what to do with their property, these include:

  • Selling the property to a housing association
  • Selling the property on the open market
  • Letting the property yourself
  • Letting the property through a commercial agent

Empty dwelling management orders

These have been introduced by the government, under the Housing Act 2004.