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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bring homes back into use, says county

Owners of empty homes across Denbighshire are being encouraged to return their properties to use to provide extra housing and deter antisocial behaviour.

There are a number of financial incentives available to assist empty home owners in bringing their properties back into use, from Welsh Government interest free loans to local authority assistance. 

The council can also help with project managing the works and give advice on how to get a reduction on VAT for renovation works to empty properties.

Currently there are around 700 long term empty properties in the county and an Empty Homes Officer has been allocated to help home owners with the process of returning their empty properties back to use.

Councillor Barbara Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for Modernisation and Housing, said: “Long term empty properties are a cause for concern and homes left empty for more than six months are a wasted resource in an area of high housing demand, they can attract crime, vandalism and antisocial behaviour as well as being a financial burden on owners."

Councillor David Smith, Cabinet Lead Member for the Public Realm, said: “We understand that the prospect can be stressful and overwhelming so Denbighshire County Council have allocated an Empty Homes Officer who is available to offer tailored advice and support for anyone returning their property to use. 

"This includes advice on how to make the most of your property, renovation advice, financial advice and advice on selling your property, with all advice and assistance tailored to individual circumstances. An empty home needs to be looked after as much as one which is lived in, it makes financial sense to put your vacant property to use.”

Additional benefits can be gained by bringing a property back to use, including giving the owners a financial return, removing the burden and worry of being responsible for a vacant property and also provide extra homes in the County without the need for new builds.

Denbighshire County Council is keen to assist owners in returning their properties to use, however in circumstances where the property is considered to be having a detrimental effect on the neighbourhood and local amenities and all offers of voluntary assistance have been rejected, the council says it will consider taking enforcement action which could involve issuing an improvement notice to make the owner to bring their property up to current housing standards, enforcing the sale of the property or serving a demolition order.

For home owners wanting to find out more on this service or if you would like to have a discussion regarding your empty property, contact the Empty Homes Officer on:

Empty Homes Officer, 
Built Environment Team,
Smithfield Road,
LL16 3RJ
Or you can email: / 01824 706717.

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