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Empty Property

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN HL1190, tabled on 22 June 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have powers to requisition residential properties left unoccupied for six months or more in peace-time and without declaring a state of emergency.

Answered on

6 July 2022

It is for local housing authorities to decide when to use their powers to deal with empty properties, and they have the flexibility to focus on locally determined priorities and allocate their resources accordingly.

In certain circumstances, local authorities can exercise powers to take over the management of long-term empty homes in order to bring them back into use in the private rented sector. Local authorities can apply for an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) when a property has been empty for more than two years, subject to the production of evidence that the property has been causing a nuisance to the community and evidence of community support for their proposal.

Similarly, Compulsory Purchase Orders can be used by local authorities to acquire empty properties where the authority can demonstration that the acquisition would be in the public interest.