How we can help
We provide advice and support to a network of Empty Homes Officers and other practitioners working on empty homes across Scotland. We advise on complex cases, provide ongoing training and consultancy to new and existing officers and help local authorities make the case for empty homes work in their area.
Impact of Empty Homes Work
According to latest council tax returns, there are over 40,000 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 2019/20, responses collated from our annual survey show that 1412 properties are now homes again and 97% 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.
How we have helped
Specific Advice on Specialist Policy and Process
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.