London,
22
April
2010
|
00:00
Europe/London

Turning empty properties into new homes

EMPTY homes are being brought into use again, and landlords, neighbours and developers are being urged to contact Hackney Council to find out more.

The Council has helped create 221 new homes from empty properties in the borough in the past two years, for renting by those on the Council’s housing waiting list, and has also recruited a dedicated officer to work on the issue.

Grant funding worth several thousands of pounds is available through the Council for landlords wanting to return empty properties into use for renting, and owners, neighbours, developers and estate agents should make contact to find out more about available options. However, useful information is also available to owners who do not want to rent and they are encouraged to contact the Council to discuss their options.

Empty properties can also attract dumped rubbish, or cause damp to neighbouring buildings through leaking roofs or gutters, and the Council can take enforcement action against landlords who consistently refuse to remedy the situation – this can include court action, fining landlords, and as a last resort a Compulsory Purchase Order.

When properties are left empty, this blights the neighbourhood discouraging investment in the area so neighbours who are concerned about empty properties in their street are also asked to tell the Council about them so that owners can be contacted and the process started of bringing them back into use.

Steve Douglas, Interim Corporate Director for Neighbourhoods, said: “Hackney Council is committed to ensuring that everyone in the borough is decently housed, and this includes working with landlords to bring empty homes back into use.”

For more information, contact the empty homes service at Private Sector Housing on 020 8356 4866, visit http://www.hackney.gov.uk/improvements-and-repairs.htm or email private.sector.housing@hackney.gov.uk