Report a Vacant Home
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.
What happens next?
The Empty Property Team will start the investigation with a view to:
- Finding out who owns the property
- Resolving the immediate problems including fly tipping and an untidy appearance
- Ultimately getting the property reoccupied.
Bringing empty properties back into use
Wirral Council’s Empty Property Team is dedicated to returning empty properties back into use to help achieve the following objectives:
- Increase the supply of much needed housing
- Reduce homelessness
- Contribute to the regeneration of an area
- Help to create stable and long lasting communities
- Respond positively to public concerns
- Reduce the need for 'green field' development
- Assistance to get your vacant property back in to use.
There are several initiatives designed to help you as a vacant property owner to get your property back in to use. These options fall in to four categories:
- Sell - Assistance in selling a vacant property in need of substantial refurbishment.
- Lease – Assistance in signposting you to an organisation capable of leasing your property, refurbishing it and letting it out with a proportion of the rent paid to you as the owner.
- Retain and Refurbish – Apply for an Empty Property Grant to assist you in the refurbishment and return to occupation of your vacant property.
- HOUSED (Home Ownership using sustainable Empty Properties) – An initiativewhereby the local authority buy a small number of vacant properties, refurbish them to a high standard and sell them at a discount to first time buyers.
This case study provides an example of how the Empty Property Team helped to get the property in question back in to use.
What can we do if owners of vacant properties refuse to co-operate?
If owners of vacant properties refuse to co-operate with the local authority then we will be forced to consider our enforcement options. If for example the local authority is required to serve notice and you fail to comply the Council may choose to carry out work in default of the notice in question. Attempts will then be made to recover the costs from the owner and should the owner fail to pay any monies due, the Council may secure the debt as a special charge against the property. As a last resort the Council can force the owner to sell the property to recover substantial outstanding debts due to the local authority.