An empty home is a privately owned property that has been vacant for 6 months or more. Empty homes are not only a wasted resource that could be used to address local housing needs and demands. They can also become eyesores risking antisocial behaviour complications, such as vandalism, fly tipping, graffiti and break-ins, and in turn place an unnecessary burden on the resources of the local Council as well as emergency services who must address these issues.
Owners of empty homes can face a significant financial drain as empty properties can cost its owner thousands of pounds each year through Council Tax, insurance, security (e.g. boarding up windows) and maintenance. Bringing it back into use not only saves the owner these costs, but it can also provide rental income or a lump sum through a direct sale.
Shelter Scotland estimates “an empty home can cost an owner over £7000 per annum”.