Council issues call to landlords on National Empty Homes Week

Salford City Council is calling on landlords of empty properties to take the necessary actions to get their homes back into use as it marks National Empty Homes Week.

The week (which lasts from Monday 28 February until Sunday 6 March) is a national initiative which helps promote local councils’ work to bring empty properties into use. The latest government data shows that over 260,000 properties in England have stood empty for more than six months.

Salford is currently home to 2,392 properties which have been empty for more than six months and the council continues to proactively work with landlords to bring these properties back into use as quick as possible.

If poorly maintained, an empty property can easily deteriorate and become a source of nuisance to neighbours and an eyesore for an area.

Deputy City Mayor Councillor Tracy Kelly, Lead Member for Housing, Property and Regeneration said: “Salford is in the midst of a housing crisis and we take the issue of empty properties extremely seriously as we know that there are so many families and residents in our city that could make them a home of their own.

“Our dedicated team deploy a wide range of tactics to bring these homes back into use and we have strong partnerships with local housing associations who help us refurbish them and find new tenants who are in need of a good quality home.

“We offer landlords a number of options to find a solution for an empty home and we will not hesitate to use enforcement powers, such as serving improvement notices to ensure the home is habitable. I would urge landlords to work promptly with our teams to ensure that properties can be ready for use as soon as possible.”

One of the measures available to landlords are grants from the council’s Private Sector Leasing Scheme to refurbish the property to a decent standard. The grants are subject to a 30% contribution from the owner and on the condition that the property be managed by a social landlord for five years and let at affordable rent levels.

This scheme was recently put into practice to ensure that a one-bedroom flat in Broughton, that had been privately rented for 18 years and had been empty since July 2019, was available for a new tenant this January after the landlord was contacted by the team. The owner of the flat had been struggling to find a solution for the property which was then fully refurbished under the scheme.

Our intervention brought another unit back into use that would have likely remained empty for a considerable period of time with one-bedroom flats in high-demand from residents across the city.

Date published
Monday 28 February 2022

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