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Enforcement options available to the local authority

Where an owner persistently leaves a property empty which is in a poor condition or in an area of high housing need local authorities may take the following action:

  • Report property to other council departments such as Private Housing Service and Planning, in relation to poor condition of property
  • Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO): Where property is in poor condition, in an area of housing need and the owner has resisted all voluntary attempts to bring the property back into use. 
  • Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO): This is a new power introduced in England from April 2006 which allows councils to take over the management of residential properties, where an owner of an empty property has turned down offers of help to bring the property back into use, and can offer no good reason why the property should remain empty.  The council would facilitate any capital works needed to allow the property to be leased and use the property to accommodate people in housing need for up to 7 years.

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