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Council urges owners of empty homes in Exeter to bring them back into use

Published: 23 February 2022

Bringing empty homes back into use

The City Council is marking National Empty Homes Week by urging owners of empty properties to bring them back into use.

The latest government data shows that over 268,000 properties in England have stood empty for more than six months. In Exeter there are currently 476 homes that have been empty for more than six months.

Homes left empty for a long time can be a blight on the local area and sometimes attract anti-social behaviour.

The council wants to work with empty property owners to bring them back into use and help with the local housing shortage.

The call comes ahead of National Empty Homes Week, which runs from 28 February to 6 March 6.

A spokesman for the Council said: “With a national and local shortage of housing it is essential that empty homes are brought back into use to create much needed accommodation for local people. The majority of empty property is usually only empty for a short period of time. It is those properties that stand empty and deteriorate over time that that become an issue for the wider community.

"There can be complex reasons why a home may be left empty, but there are local incentives to help turn an empty house into someone’s home.”

The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team can offer advice and information on the options available to help bring homes back into use.

This includes financial assistance if improvement work is needed for the empty home, or the services of our Housing Access Team who have families looking for homes to rent.

The Council’s preferred approach is to engage with and encourage owners to bring a property back in to use. But it can consider enforcement action where someone is unable or unwilling to bring a home back into use.

For more information on empty homes, or to report an empty property, visit

For help and advice on empty homes contact Environmental Health on 01392 265147.

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