Private Sector Housing Team
What is an Empty Home?
An ‘empty home’ is a privately owned house or property which have been empty for six months or more. A lot of properties are empty for legitimate reasons which cannot be avoided, we appreciate that renovations and sales take time, or that owners may have long term plans for their asset. We focus on properties which have been vacant for over two years, or where we receive a complaint. Following attempts to communicate with the owners these properties are scored, and their impact assessed. We will then decide if any action is appropriate based on the individual circumstances of the property.
Our Private Housing Team co-ordinates any reports or queries with all the relevant departments of the council.
Why is the council interested if a private home is left empty?
The Housing Act 2004 tells us that we must keep the housing conditions in our area under review, with a view to deciding what actions should be taken. We additionaly have legal duties if the house is in such a bad condition that it is causing a nuisance.
We also have a responsibility towards the homeless and trying to find them suitable accommodation. Making more houses and flats available is one way of preventing homelessness. There are approximately 2829 households seeking council homes.
Most of all we know that the residents of Lincoln do not like to see buildings left empty.
The disadvantages and problems associated with long term empty dwellings:
- They become eyesores, the gardens become overgrown and they trap litter
- Their neglect can allow rats and mice to multiply
- They may provide become a focal point for anti-social behaviour
- They bring the neighbourhood down; they will reduce house prices in the area
- The owner earns nothing from the property and it becomes a liability
- It takes up time and money if the council, Police, and Fire and Rescue Service have to keep responding to complaints
Please note we are unable to provide details of empty properties as this information is protected and cannot be made public. Also we do not wish to publicise the location of these potentially unprotected buildings and actually bring about the very problems we are trying to reduce. However we may be able to put you in contact with the owner.