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Empty homes

Empty homes

The Impact of Empty Homes

Long term empty properties can have a large impact on the local community, this can include:

  • Reduction in the value of the property and the neighbouring properties.
  • Additional costs in renovation as the property deteriorates over time.
  • Environmental health risks from vermin and waste.
  • Hazards to the public through unsafe structures.
  • Focal points for illegal and anti social behaviour such as fly tipping, vandalism and arson.
  • A strain on other agencies such as Fire and Rescue and Police.
  • A wasted resource when so many people are in need of housing.
  • Increased risk of squatters.
  • Increased insurance costs when unoccupied.

If you are a builder, developer, landlord, letting or estate agent, first time buyer or simply looking to purchase a property the perfect solution may be out there. We make regular contact with empty property owners, who may be looking to sell, let or renovate a property they own.

If you own a long term empty property, the council can offer advice and assistance such as information on selling, renting, VAT discounts, local auctioneers, financial assistance and local schemes to help bring empty properties back to use.

Report a long term empty homes in your area

Any enquiries should be made to our Empty Property Officer emptyhomes@west-lindsey.gov.uk.

If you live near an empty property and witness a crime taking place, please report it to the Police, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Financial help for non-profit organisations


The Nationwide Foundation has launched a new empty properties funding programme to bring long-term empty properties back into use for people in housing need.

Despite the current housing crisis, the UK has in excess of 200,000 long-term empty homes and many more commercial properties which could be used as homes. The Nationwide Foundation will fund work which turns empty properties into safe, decent homes for people in need and makes them available at a rate they can afford.

The £1 million funding programme will be open to applications from the 14th September 2015 to the 1st November 2015.

Funding criteria

Only not-for-profit organisations are eligible for funding. They do not fund statutory organisations or individuals.
They will consider funding towards:

  • costs of the refurbishment of long-term empty properties: these can be empty residential properties or commercial spaces and must have been empty for more than six months;
  • organisational core costs where these are directly required to bring the empty properties into use, e.g. costs towards salaries for staff supporting volunteers who are working on the renovation of the empty property;
  • legal and other such costs associated with obtaining the empty properties, e.g. landlord negotiation and asset transfer;
  • reasonable wider organisational costs as part of a full cost recovery approach.

They will not consider funding towards:

  • capital funding to purchase property;
  • projects which include properties being leased from the owner for less than five years.

They are particularly interested in projects which include one or more of the following:

  • are financially sustainable, or which are working towards financial sustainability;
  • support the training and education of people in need by bringing empty properties back into use. This could be in the form of volunteering, apprenticeships or training schemes;
  • acquire property by asset transfer;
  • implement environmental and energy saving aspects in refurbishments to benefit future tenants.

Applicants can apply for:

  • between £100,000 and £175,000;
  • a grant or social investment, or a combination of both, whichever is the most appropriate for the project.

For more information on the application process visit Nationwide Foundation or contact Lorna Mackie on 01793 652618 or email lorna.mackie@nationwidefoundation.org.uk

The deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday 1st November 2015.

West Lindsey District Council has no involvement in this scheme and has provided the information above from Nationwide Foundation website for information purposes only.