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New Forest District Council's Empty Homes Strategy, which is due to be updated, provides a range of initiatives aimed at bringing empty homes back into use. The various options included in the strategy offer a number of different ways of giving help and support to property owners to enable them to bring in rental income. This Strategy forms an important part of the overall Housing Strategy.
The Housing Development team leads on this strategy, providing a contact point for queries relating to empty property. Every contact concerning empty property will be investigated and the best options made available to interested owners. The team is based at Appletree Court and has access to the relevant teams, e.g. planning and environmental health. New homes have been provided by re-using empty dwellings, converting commercial property and bringing space over shops back into use.
The 2004 Housing Act created new power - EDMOs (Empty Property Management Orders) which will enable councils to take action to bring property back into use. This will only be used if other methods are not productive.
Methods of re-using Empty Properties:
Empty Homes Loan Scheme
Private Sector Leasing Scheme
Benefits to a property owner include:
- Guaranteed rent paid every month
- Tenants pay Council Tax and utilities bills
- Relief from day-to-day responsibilities
- Vacant possession at the end of the lease term
- Return of the property in reasonable repair
The owner will be required to:
- Agree a lease period of 2 years with the Council or Housing Association
- Provide accommodation in good repair and reasonable decorative order
Property owners and agents may be eligible for rent in advance and deposits from NFDC.
Benefits to the property owner include:
- Property let at market rent levels
The owner will be required to provide:
- Accommodation in good repair and reasonable decorative order
- Accommodation suitable for applicants from the Homesearch register
Assistance to Rent Privately
Not all accommodation is suitable for the above schemes. The Housing Development team will assist any owner who wishes to let his/her property privately.
For further information please contact the Housing Development Team.