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Empty properties to be taken over
« on: Aug 17, 2005, 12:43 »
by Rob Merrick

NEW powers to allow local authorities to take over houses left to rot by private landlords were outlined yesterday.

There are nearly 13,000 private homes in the North-East that have been vacant for more than six months, and more than 5,000 in North Yorkshire.

Once empty, properties quickly fall into disrepair and fall prey to squatters, drug-dealers and fly-tippers.

Now councils will be given powers to move tenants into long-term empty homes without going through the costly, and time-consuming, process of compulsory purchase.

From next year, they will be able to issue an empty dwelling management order (EDMO) to any landlord refusing to co-operate with attempts to bring a property back into use.

An EDMO will give the council temporary management rights, allowing a house to revert to its original owner at a later date.

Ministers were to quick to pledge the new powers could not be used against people who leave their property vacant to go abroad, or used against second-home owners.

Baroness Andrews, the Housing Minister, said: "Empty homes have blighted our communities and attracted anti-social behaviour for far too long.

"The new management orders are an ideal opportunity to bring these properties back into use to provide much-needed accommodation."

Last year, there were 4,930 private homes vacant for more than six months in Cleveland, 4,417 across Tyneside and Wearside, and 1,890 in County Durham.

Areas with the highest numbers were Redcar and Cleveland (1,811), Gateshead (1,683), Middlesbrough (1,630) and Newcastle (1,174).

Baroness Andrews spoke as the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) launched a three-month consultation on the orders, to conclude on October 14.

Local authorities are being consulted on the time period after which EDMOs should be issued, with the ODPM proposing six months.

There is also debate over the extent of exemptions, which will include holiday homes, properties under repair or awaiting planning approval, and those for sale.

Ministers are concerned that empty homes pose a risk to adjoining properties through damp and other infestations.

Sometimes, local authorities are forced to guard against break-ins by squatters and drug-dealers by boarding up empty homes.

But boarded up windows and doors - as well as overgrown gardens and dumped rubbish - can lower the price and marketability of neighbouring houses.

Local authorities that have tried to pursue irresponsible landlords through the courts have found compulsory purchase can take up to seven years.


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Offline bazza

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re: Empty properties to be taken over
« Reply #1 on: Aug 17, 2005, 13:08 »
Heck....they will have a great time in Chilton then  :lol:
When there is nothing more to be said....Bazza goes and says it

witchy

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re: Empty properties to be taken over
« Reply #2 on: Aug 18, 2005, 14:51 »
mmm !! me thinks they will in Shildon too.... :?

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