Empty Homes in Haringey
Due to a housing shortage in the borough, Haringey has a policy of encouraging owners of empty homes to bring them back into use. The council would prefer it if owners did this themselves and grants are sometimes available to help with renovation costs.
- Consequences of leaving your home empty
- What action will the council take?
- Reporting an empty home
- Empty property grants
Leaving your property empty means it can fall into disrepair, attract vandalism, crime and rubbish dumping. You also lose out financially as you do not receive rental income, have increased insurance premiums and you have to pay full Council Tax.
Properties left empty for any length of time are at risk from becoming squatted. The Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 section 144 changed the law with regard to the squatting of residential properties. Owners of residential (not commercial) properties no longer need to go to Court to evict squatters. The Police will help you to remove people from your house/flat if you can prove that you are the rightful owner. However squatters can do a substantial amount of damage in a short time and will often throw out furniture and possessions left in a property to make way for their own possessions. Keeping a property in occupation is the best way to avoid having squatters.
Long-term empty homes and those causing a nuisance will not be tolerated.
Haringey has an active enforcement programme for empty homes. Empty homes cause problems within neighbourhoods as they attract crime, vandalism and fly tipping often creating an eyesore within a road. Enforcement proceeding will be taken against owners if the council have to intervene to clear properties of waste and or board empty homes to prevent access. Owners who persist in not bringing empty homes back into use will also be subject to the council’s empty home enforcement procedure which may result in the Compulsory Purchase of a property.
Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) are used when there is no debt on the property but where the council can satisfy the Secretary of State that the owner has made no attempt to bring their property back into use themselves.
Haringey Council currently has 40 properties that Council Cabinet has approved for CPO and 7 of these have had to be sent to the Secretary of State for confirmation of the CPO. These properties have been taken possession of by Haringey and sold onto either Housing Associations or sold on the open market to people who are in the process of renovating them to be occupied once again.
Enforced Sale is used where there is an outstanding debt on the property either through unpaid Council Tax or where the council has carried out work in default after Statutory Notices have not been complied with. The council applies to the Court for an Order of Sale and if the debt goes unpaid, this is granted. These properties are then taken possession of using a bailiff and they then go to auction.
If you would like to report an empty home in your neighbourhood you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information please contact:
- Senior Environmental Health Officer on 020 8489 5252
If you are a landlord and your property has been empty for more that a month, please visit our Grants for Landlords page for further details.