Getting empty properties back into use

If you own, live near to or know of an empty house or flat which has the potential for people to live in, it please report it to the council's Empty Property team.

Report an empty property

We’re dedicated to returning empty properties back into use. This helps to:

  • increase the supply of much needed housing
  • reduce homelessness
  • contribute to the regeneration of an area

If you own a vacant property

There are initiatives designed to help you get your property back in to use:

  • help in selling a vacant property in need of substantial refurbishment
  • Empty property grant assistance is available to owners of properties that have been registered as vacant for Council Tax for a period longer than six months. Owners are eligible to apply for financial assistance toward the cost of refurbishment and reoccupation of their premises. A grant of £7,000 for properties within Selective Licensing areas and £5,000 elsewhere within the borough is available to assist with the capital costs of refurbishment and reoccupation either by the owner or a tenant. The premises must remain vacant whilst the works take place and the property occupied within a period of six months of the grant application being approved. Any works required at the property must be undertaken by a bona fide contractors and the applicant must retain ownership of the property during the Empty Property Grant process. The premises must also remain occupied for a period of two years following completion of the refurbishment and confirmation of the property’s re-occupation. We cannot fund any works already completed at a property prior to the grant being approved. Grant assistance is not available to owners looking to sell a vacant property. A locally set administration fee and charge are payable upon approval of the application and for 2022/23 this is currently £228.72 and for 2023-24 the fee will be £251.82 (please note fees and charges may be updated during the year and the council reserves the right to amend the schedule at any time). The fee and charge are reviewed annually in October.
  • Developers List – A scheme whereby we can help in selling a vacant property in need of substantial refurbishment. We can notify property developers of properties available for sale, where the owners have requested marketing assistance from the Council. Interested parties will be invited to view properties and have the option of making sealed bids. To join the Developers Circulation List, please submit an application form:
  • Developers Circulation list application
  • Find out how much it can cost to keep a property empty

Problematic empty properties

Sometimes an empty property can fall into disrepair, be the subject of anti-social behaviour or be a blight on a neighbourhood. In these circumstances the council may be able to take legal action to force an owner to maintain an empty property in a reasonable and safe condition.

Legal action can be taken under the Building Act 1984 or The Town and Country Planning Act 1990, this can include undertaking works in default and recovery of any costs incurred and, in terms of officer time, this has been set locally as £45.83 per hour for 2022-23 and £48.71 per hour for 2023-24. This charge is reviewed on an annual basis. Charges may be updated during the year and the council reserves the right to amend the schedule at any time.

Contact us

The Housing Standards Team at Wirral Council is here to help. If you would like to consider any of these options or would like to know more about any of the support outlined, please contact the Housing Standards Team.


The PDF file above may not be suitable to view for people with disabilities, users of assistive technology or mobile phone devices.