Empty Properties

What if I leave my property empty?

Empty properties often become an eyesore, affecting the way a neighbourhood looks, and can attract vandals, fly tippers and other forms of anti-social behaviour. An empty property will cost you financially and is a lost opportunity for you and a lost opportunity to provide a home for a family.

Newham Council is committed to supporting owners to bring their properties back into use. However, where properties are left empty long term, without good reason, the Council has enforcement powers to get the property up to standard and in use.

Enforcement action

Where it has not been possible to locate the owner or it has not been possible to support the owner to take the necessary steps to bring the empty property back into use the Council will consider taking enforcement action.

Enforcement actions include seeking a compulsory purchase order, enforced sale of the property, or an empty dwelling management order. The Council may also direclty resolve adisrepair, pest control or unauthorised entry  problem that is causing a safety issue or impacting a neighbouring property. The costs associated with this resolution including council time and resources would then be charged back to the owner. The objective of any enforcement action is to enable the empty property to be brought back to a decent standard and back into use.

Council tax surcharge

If your property is empty you will still be liable to pay council tax. Once the property has been empty for two years a premium of 100% will be added to the full council tax charge. After the property has been empty for five years the premium will rise to 200% and after ten years it will go up to 300% on top of the full council tax charge.

There are some exemptions from paying council tax and from the empty homes surcharge.