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Case Study – An empty home that is causing distress in an area where there is no EHO

The Scottish Empty Homes Advice Service (SEHAS) was contacted by a neighbour who had moved into a first-floor flat in 2019, where the home directly below her was empty. At this stage there was no immediate visible signs or issues with the empty property. It should be noted that this flat is in a local authority area without an Empty Homes Officer. 

As time passed, the flat started to cause problems for all the residents. Neighbours reported a strong smell emanating from the property; it turned out that the empty home had flooded due to a congested drain. The neighbours tried to contact the owner as they were concerned both about the impact to the empty property and to their own homes, but the owner did not respond. A complaint was made to Building Control and Environmental Health departments, and both became involved in the case, however no work had progressed to bring the property back into use. 

The neighbour was grateful for our support and advice, although without an Empty Homes Officer, there is limited resource in the council, and it is likely that the property will remain empty. The neighbour has indicated that they are considering selling up and moving on.