Empty Properties can lead to social, economic and environmental concerns including:
- Creating eyesores which are a target for nuisance and anti-social behaviour
- Decreasing the value of neighbouring properties.
- Contributing to the housing shortage.
- Increasing pressure for housing development on Greenfield sites to meet housing demand.
- Burdening the local authority with lost revenue from council tax and the time and resources spent by Public Health, Building Control, Fire Authority and Police Services.
What is the Council's role?
Empty property owners are responsible for their properties, but if an owner is unsure what to do with their property, or the property is causing problems in the community, then the Council can help. Torfaen Council has an officer who can work with owners and other Council services to bring these properties back into use.
Many properties are legitimately empty e.g. for renovations or awaiting a sale, so the Council rarely needs to get involved in these circumstances. Instead the Council's focus is on assisting owners who are seeking help, by examining their best options, such as letting, living in or selling the property. The Council also deals with problematic properties and cases where the owner has no intention of returning the house to use.