North East Lincolnshire Council

Can you make an empty house a home? Empty Homes Week 2017

Owners of empty homes have been warned they will have to pay an extra 50 per cent on their council tax bills if they’re left empty for more than two years.

North East Lincolnshire Council, working in partnership with ENGIE, has sent more than 300 letters to property owners at risk of having to pay the extra charge.

It comes ahead of Empty Homes Week, a national campaign that aims to raise awareness of the problems caused by leaving properties empty and to promote ways of bringing them back into use.

There are 1,794 properties in North East Lincolnshire that have been empty for more than six months with 697 empty for more than two years, according to council figures. In the worst cases, the Council can use its powers to compulsory purchase properties and find ways to bring them back into use.

If an empty property is causing problems in your community, report it online using our Empty Homes Notification form.

Cllr Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration, skills and housing at NELC, said:

“Empty homes can have unwanted detrimental effects on the community by attracting vandalism, fly-tipping, antisocial behaviour, squatters and an overall decline in the area.

“On top of this, they’re a complete waste when it doesn’t take much to bring them back into use as a fully functioning home.

“By addressing these problems, we can not only bring about immediate improvements, but also make sure that fewer homes are left empty in the future and improve standards in the local housing market.”

There is help available for those who want to bring their properties back into use. To find out more call (01472) 324727 or email

You can also contact the team to find out about empty properties for sale in North East Lincolnshire.

Cllr Wheatley added:

“If you’re the owner of a property that’s empty, or if you’re looking for a property to renovate, we can help in several ways.

“Our empty homes team can advise property owners how to bring a home into use or find a buyer.
“They can also prepare reports that detail the works needed to bring an empty property up to standard so it can be rented.

“They’ll help every step of the way to get an empty home lived in again, even if it comes to finding a buyer.”


Information and Advice for Developers

If you have the funds available to renovate your property, we can help you by completing a schedule of all the works required to bring the property up to a lettable standard.

To help further we can also source a locally approved contractor to carry out the works. Every businesses listed has undergone a series of checks by the local authority prior to them being able to carry the work out. If you need help to let a property we can also provide advice.

Reduced VAT

If your property has been empty for two years before you start any works and you’re using builders to complete the work then you may be eligible for a reduced rate of just five per cent VAT on repairs, maintenance or improvements.
If your property has been empty for more than ten years before you start work and you plan on using it for residential purposes after the work is completed, you may be eligible for zero rated VAT.

It’s difficult to reclaim overpaid VAT so you need to be aware of these discounts before you start the works and make sure the builders understand the rules so that you are invoiced correctly. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

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