Empty properties - realising their potential

Empty properties have a significant impact on the local environment and community. An empty property is a waste of valuable resource at a time when we have a shortage of available housing in Herefordshire. Empty properties can have an impact on anti-social behaviour, property prices and other environmental issues.

There are currently 374 properties identified as long term empty across Herefordshire.

In 2023/24, we brought 41 empty properties back into use.

By working together we can bring empty properties within the county back into use.

Ways we can help

Repairs to bring the property back into use

We can:

  • Provide information on what work would be needed to make the property habitable
  • Advise on costs for any works that we recommend that need to be carried out
  • Provide contact details of local contractors
  • Advise whether you may be eligible for any financial assistance

Renting out the property

We can:

  • Provide contact details of letting agents in an area
  • Advise how you can manage the empty property yourself
  • Advise of your rights and responsibilities as a landlord
  • Help you find tenants for your property

Selling the property

We can:

  • Give non-biased advice if you wish to sell your empty property
  • Provide contact details for all estate agents in the area
  • Provide contact details for local social housing providers who may be interested in buying or managing the empty property

Enforcement action

It is important that owners of empty properties are aware that the council has access to a wide range of enforcement legislation that can be used to force an owner to carry out certain works on their property to make it safe, secure and to ensure that the property does not adversely affect the area.

We have powers to use Empty Dwelling Management Orders or Compulsory Purchase Orders to ensure empty properties come back into use. We will also consider making owners bring a property back to a habitable standard if they are not making reasonable progress themselves.

Council Tax premiums on empty properties

If a property is empty for 1 year or more, a premium on top of the full charge is payable by the owner. These premiums are:

  • 1-5 years empty, 100%
  • 5-10 years empty, 200%
  • 10 years and over empty, 300%

How to report an empty property

To report an empty property call the council's empty property and housing development officer, Michelle Powell, on 01432 260728 or email michelle.powell@herefordshire.gov.uk and provide the address or location of the property and tell us why you believe the property is empty.

How to get help with your empty property

Contact the council's empty property and housing development officer, Michelle Powell, on 01432 260728 or email michelle.powell@herefordshire.gov.uk to discuss your options, such as refurbishment, VAT savings on refurbishment works or for information about selling or renting the property.