Council working to bring empty homes in Exeter back into use
Published: 23 February 2021
The Council is urging owners of empty properties to bring them back into use.
Action on Empty Homes reports that nationally in 2020 the number of empty homes grew by almost a fifth to 268,385.
In Exeter there are currently 478 homes that have been empty for more than six months.
Homes left empty for a long term 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.
Cllr Bob Foale, Lead Councillor for Transformation & Environment, 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.
“Empty property owners can start to receive a regular rental income or a lump sum if they sell. Working to bring empty properties back in to use is not only good economic sense, but works for the benefit of the whole community.”
There can be complex reasons why a home may be left empty, but there are 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 www.exeter.gov.uk/housing
For help and advice on empty homes contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01392 265147.