Empty Property Officer
The Empty Property Officer plays a vital role as the initial contact for people wishing to report an empty residential property. Should you wish to report a property online, please use the form in the menu on the right.
On receiving the report, the Officer will carry out initial investigations within 3 working days to identify ownership and whether or not the property is classed as un-occupied. These investigations may include (but not exclusively):
- Land Registry checks to establish ownership,
- Checking Companies House if the property is owned by a company,
- Contacting neighbours during a visit to the premises, and leave a calling card at the empty property for visitors to contact the Council.
- Checking Council Tax records to verify the billable owner, & attempt to contact to clarify their intentions for the property; including timescales to make habitable.
Reducing the number of empty residential properties within the district is a key priority for the Council. Leaving a property empty can attract nuisance and anti-social behaviour, result in depreciation of property value and reduce the value of surrounding homes, cause problems to adjoining property and is a waste of the housing stock. In many cases, the longer a property remains empty, the greater the problem becomes and the more negative attention it receives.
Houses become empty for a variety of reasons. For example:
- A deceased owner, resulting in the property becoming the subject of a probate dispute
- Tenants leave and the owners cannot be contacted.
- The owner refuses to carry out renovation or maintain the property without some form of financial assistance.
- The property changed ownership prior to compulsory land registration under Section 1 of the Land Registration Act 1997 and the owner cannot be traced.
To view the Council's Empty Homes Strategy, please see the links on the right hand side.
What options are available to the owner?
Property owners can sometimes be reluctant to undertake work necessary to bring their property back into use. Our objectives are foremost to work with the owner of the empty property to bring it back to occupied status. Options available include:
- Independently letting the property.
- Letting through an Accredited Letting Agent.
- Referral to M.A.R.S. (Mansfield and Associates Rental Solutions).
- Re-developing the site.
- Selling the asset to another party to utilise.
- Occupation by the owner.
- Purchase by a Registered Provider (also known as a Housing Association or Registered Social Landlord).
The Empty Property Officer may be able to advise on what courses of action are available to the owner and also provide confirmation from Council Tax records of how long the property has been empty. This will allow the owner to claim a reduced rate of VAT charged by their contractor if the property has been empty for 2 years or more.
If after attempting all methods of assistance and persuasion, the property owner fails to comply to bring the property back into use, it may be necessary to take enforcement action using the various powers available through the following legislation:
- The Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (sec 215).
- The Housing Act 2004 (parts 1-4 inc Empty Dwelling Management Orders)
- The Environmental Protection Act 1990
- Building Act 1984 (sec 76)
- Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (sec29)
- Housing Act 1985 (sec 17)
Please note that follow up action can be a lengthy process depending on the individual nature of every property.
Empty Property Grants
There are currently no grants available from the authority to owners of Empty Properties.
Empty Property Loans
There are currently no loans available from the authority to owners of Empty Properties; although Mansfield District Council are a participating Local Authority for the National Empty Homes Loan Fund (NEHLF). As a participating Authority, the Council are able to refer empty property owners to NEHLF, allowing a saving of the loan application fee for the owner. For further information relating to NEHLF, please see the links on the right hand side.
Freedom of Information Enquiries
The Council is often asked by potential developers or other interested individuals for a list of Empty Properties within the district. To access this information, please confirm your request in writing to the following:
Legal Department, Civic centre, Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG19 7BH.