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Neighbour report helps bring property back into use for affordable housing

cars parked on either side of a residential street

A concerned neighbour contacted our advice service as there was water coming into their home from the empty property next door. This home had been empty for 7 years and its condition had gradually deteriorated. The neighbour told us the wall they shared with the empty property was damp and they could hear water trickling down inside. Anxious about a leak, and unable to contact the home owner, they felt powerless to stop the damage. 

We contacted the local Empty Homes Officer (EHO) as a matter of urgency, asking for assistance in tracing the owner. In the meantime, we advised the neighbour on the process to follow for gaining access to the property in an emergency, which included contacting the emergency services. 

 The leak was resolved, preventing further damage. However the neighbours were still concerned about future problems. The EHO was able to contact the owner who did not wish to return to or maintain their property. After discussing their options with the EHO the owner  decided to sell via the local authority’s buy back scheme ensuring the property could be included in much needed affordable housing stock.