Empty homes assistance
Empty homes can become a focus point for anti-social behaviour, crime, littering and other activity which may become a nuisance for neighbouring areas and the community. These vacant homes also attract vermin, can be unsafe and de-value the other houses nearby.
There are important financial factors to take into consideration when you have an empty home:
- Earning money – the demand for affordable decent homes in Somerset remains high. Empty homes could be generating rental income.
- Saving money – after two years of being empty, Council Tax increases to 150%. Government are currently considering increasing this to 200%. Instead, the standard rate of Council Tax could be paid by an occupier. An empty home is also likely to deteriorate over time, costing more money long term to renovate.
We can offer advice and support to help you bring your empty home back into use. If your empty home needs repair, we have grants and loans available to support you in completing essential work, which helps meet the housing demand so the property can be lived in.
Grants and loans
Grants and loans are available to owners of homes that have been empty for an extended period, so that they can undertake essential repairs to bring properties back into use. These funds are made available so that homes can be occupied by the owner or rented out to tenants.
There are schemes in place to assist homeowners with renovations:
If you have inherited a property which could be classed as long-term empty, you should obtain competent legal advice, as the first step will be to make sure you have the legal right to deal with the estate of the person who has died. This is called applying for probate and you can find further information on the Government website: Applying for probate: What is probate – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Reporting an empty property
Should you suspect a property to be empty, report it online to us detailing the location and how long you believe it has been empty.