Our toolkit provides information and tools.Our toolkit provides information and tools.Our toolkit provides information and tools.
According to latest council tax returns, there are over 39,000 long term empty homes in Scotland. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many empties that are not recorded on official data or are exempt from council tax. Bringing these homes back into use is a holistic and essential part of the solution to the housing emergency.
An Empty Homes Officer works proactively with owners to identify options to unlock the property. In 2018/19, responses collated from our annual survey show that 1128 properties are now homes again and 93% were in councils that have some form of dedicated empty homes resource.
Empty Homes Officers are uniquely placed to work collaboratively with different teams such as Council Tax, Environmental Health and Building Control to deliver common objectives across multiple local authority departments through their work with empty homes.
An Empty Homes Officer (EHO) had reached a dead end tracing the owner of a property. The home had become empty because the previous owner had passed away, and their next of kin had denied responsibility for the property, despite being the listed responsible party for council tax. The practitioner had contacted the lender but could not get any further information and contacted the advice service for further guidance. The Empty Homes Adviser worked collaboratively with the Policy Officer to provide specialist advice on probate and repossession. This helped the EHO identify the next steps to take to unlock the property.
The team at SEHP made the process effortless. If I had known the process of bringing my property back into use, and the financial benefits, then I would have done it years ago!