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Options available to officers

Empty homes officers have a limited range of options available to encourage a home to be brought back into use. 

As part of our annual survey we asked – 

“In your experience, how commonly used are following key actions in assisting owners to bring properties back into use?”

Empty Homes Officers were asked to grade each option on a scale of one to seven; with one being not used at all, and seven being most frequently used.

Options and responses are shown below:

We then asked – 

“Of those options that you listed as most frequently used, how useful did you find these in bringing properties back in use?”

Below are some of the varied comments, overall though, it is confirmed that officers say that providing advice and information is the best way to encourage owners to do something about their empty property.

We asked – 

“Does your council have an empty homes acquisition or buy-back scheme?”

In areas where there are buy-back schemes, EHOs tell us that this a useful way of increasing affordable housing supply and unlocking empty homes.


We asked – 

“Does you council have a policy to use discretion when applying the council tax levy to long term empty properties?”

One empty homes officer commented on the lack of discretion available in the council –