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Date published: 4th March 2022

This week marks Empty Homes Week across the UK

North Norfolk District Council has a relatively low rate of long-term empty homes (homes which are un-occupied and unfurnished for six months or more)

In October 2021, the district had 477 long-term empty homes – a decrease from 564 in October 2020. This figure represents less than 1% of the homes in the district.

Success in keeping down the number of empty homes has helped contribute to the £886,575 of New Homes Bonus allocation from Central Government to the Council for the year 2022/23; the active reduction in empty homes is a positive factor in the calculation of the New Homes Bonus.

The Council takes empty homes seriously; as an authority, the Council cannot stop owners leaving properties empty, but the owners are levied with extra council tax if the property is left vacant for two years (100% increase) and a further rise after five years (200% increase) and ten years (300% increase).

There is a shortage of homes to rent in the district and empty homes can provide much needed housing options to local residents, as well as providing a rental income to the owner, provided the home is in a good condition.

The Council would far prefer owners to bring homes back into use; as an authority which provides shelter for those presenting as homeless, it is interested in leasing property from owners to provide temporary homes for homeless households.

The Council can provide a guaranteed rent income, but properties must be in fair, liveable condition and have an EPC of D or above. 

For more information contact Lesley Winston, Accommodation and Support Team Leader on 01263 516186.

Cllr. Wendy Fredericks, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Benefits said:

“We have a real shortage of homes in the District - in particular market-rent homes suitable for people who cannot afford to buy a home. 

Every empty home that is brought back into use can make a real difference to people desperate for somewhere to live and this is a practice we wish to continue.”

The Council will take enforcement action against owners of empty property who owe Council tax or who allow their home to fall into serious disrepair.  This could result in the forced sale of their property.

Last updated: 12th April 2023