Finding owners for an empty property
We know there are many people keen to make empty houses into homes, but matching supply and demand is complex for a number of reasons, including difficulties in finding out who owns an empty property. Our advisers won’t be able to trace owners directly but can talk you through what’s involved and what options you might have as an individual to start the process.
Use the slider to find out about common empty home issues and what to do about them
Common empty home issues
There are around 43,000 long-term empty properties here in Scotland — it's our mission to bring more of these back into use. Empty homes are a wasted resource and at a time of housing emergency, every home matters.
Abandoned houses in Scotland can be left vandalised or in need of regular repair. This can cause emotional stress to neighbours and a lot of expense. It's our aim to be there for the owners of empty homes in Scotland, offering the support they need to find a buyer or advice on becoming a landlord.
Before: Leaky gutters and roofs let in water that can cause mould and damp. Loose masonry can worsen over time and even break away. Broken windows and doors put the building at risk of being broken into.
After: If the property is unoccupied, carry out regular inspections and act quickly. Contact us today for more information on maintaining your unused property, access to discounts and assistance with repairs to make it a home again.
Before: It can be hard to sell your property if your home is not attractive to a buyer. It might need as little as a coat of paint or maybe an entire renovation.
After: The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership can let you know if you qualify for merchants’ or VAT discounts as well as connect you with local advice and assistance to help with your project.
Before: Overgrown grass and hedges, rubbish, fly-tipping and vandalism can indicate a property is empty as well as attract vermin. A badly kept garden is an eyesore and can affect the sense of pride that residents feel in their community.
After: Try to keep gardens tidy and free of rubbish. If you can’t maintain the garden yourself, consider whether friends, family or neighbours can help. Give neighbours your contact details so that they can let you know if there are problems. Contact us for more information on keeping your home safe and secure.
Loss of Value
Before: Empty properties in the community can reduce the kerb appeal of homes in the local area as well as affecting property values negatively.
After: If your home is empty and you want advice on bringing it back into use or if you live near an empty building and want more information on next steps then contact us.
Before: It costs between £8,000 and £10,000 a year to leave a property empty (based on cost of council tax, insurance, repairs and loss of rent). Councils in Scotland can charge up to 200% Council Tax on homes that have been empty for over a year.
After: Call the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership today for advice on how to minimise costs, appeal a council tax charge and get access to discounts. Consider how your property could make money for you by letting it out or selling it.
Difficulty with communal repairs
Before: Owners who can’t be contacted can make it difficult to carry out communal repairs. Neighbours might not know how to contact the missing owner and this can halt work, allowing maintenance issues to get worse.
After: Make sure the neighbours have your contact details and update them if they change. If you are a neighbour trying to find a missing owner, contact your council or the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership Advice Line for support.