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Make money from your empty property

​​A property left unoccupied for long periods of time can attract vandalism and nuisance, as well as deteriorating in both condition and value, which has an impact on the local neighbourhood.

And now, with new council tax rules in place, it could be costing you money to keep an empty property.

You might not know that your property can go from vacant to occupied quite easily, making you money. We have a wide range of schemes and options that might be appealing to you.

Submit your empty property details for review

As part of the government's initiative to reduce the number of empty properties in the country, we are reviewing the number of empty Council Tax properties in the borough.

As a home owner there are many ways to make extra money from your empty property - these schemes are detailed below.

The letter you received from CapacityGRID has directed you to this page to complete an online form that tells us whether your property is empty or not.

 Submit your property details for an Empty Property Review - external link

Why are we collecting data

Rochdale Borough Council has a legal duty to maintain accurate records for billing and collection of Council Tax.  The purpose of this letter is to ensure the Council’s records are correct.

What happens next

Once you have completed the form or spoken your property details will be on our system. You should not expect any additional contact from CapacityGrid regarding your property review.

Data protection

Information obtained by CapacityGRID and its partners during the Empty Homes Review will be shared solely with the Council. CapacityGRID is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998.

How much could your property be costing you?

Your empty property could be costing between £2,000 and £5,000 a year in council tax, utilities, standing charges, insurance and deterioration.

In addition, you are losing out on potential revenue from lost rent. Typical rental figures (Local Housing Allowance levels per annum) in the borough area are:

  • £4,320 - 1 bedroom house.
  • £5,424 - 2 bedroom house.
  • £5,940 - 3 bedroom house.
  • £7,800 - 4 bedroom house.

Make the most out of your empty property

To help you consider the future use of your empty property, the following schemes might be of interest to you.

6 month guaranteed rent scheme

If your property has been up for sale for a while and is sitting empty you could be earning an income from the property over the quieter winter months with our 6 month guaranteed rental scheme.

Take the worry and the cost out of leaving your property empty during the slower months of the year by leasing it to a housing association for a 6 month period. The housing association will then sub-lease the property to a tenant.

The scheme is designed with assurances that the property will be returned to you ready to go back on the market in the spring.

Benefits:

  • You get a guaranteed rental income.
  • You do not have to pay council tax.
  • The housing association will be responsible for sourcing the tenant and managing the property.
  • Housing association management fees are taken out of the rent.
  • Any tenant damage is covered.
  • At the end of the lease period the property is handed back to you with vacant possession.

Repair and lease scheme

If your property is in need of significant refurbishment home owners can lease their property to a housing association for a period of 5-10 years, who will then sub lease this to a tenant.

Benefits:

  • The housing association will complete the repairs to bring the property up to rental standards – via a grant or interest free loan.
  • The housing association will be responsible for sourcing a tenant.
  • You are guaranteed rent whether it is occupied of not.
  • You do not have to pay council tax whilst the property is occupied.
  • Housing association repairs and management fees are taken out of the rent.
  • At the end of the lease period the property is handed back to you, or you can opt to extend the agreement.

Private sector leasing scheme

If your property isn’t in need of improvements. Again, home owners can lease their property to a housing association for a period of 2-10 years, who will then sub lease this to a tenant.

 Benefits:

  • The housing association will be responsible for sourcing a tenant.
  • You are guaranteed rent whether it is occupied of not.
  • You do not have to pay council tax.
  • Housing association management fees are taken out of the rent.

Management only scheme

Make the most of your asset and rent it out. A housing association is happy to help you manage the rental of your property for a small flat rate fee.

Benefits:

  • The housing association will be responsible for sourcing a tenant.
  • The housing association will deal with all day-to-day issues the tenant has on your behalf. You are the landlord and remain in control of your property.
  • You do not have to pay council tax whilst the property is occupied.
  • Housing association management fees are taken out of the rent.

As a landlord, you will be responsible for paying for any repairs and chasing any rent non-payments. If you’re worried about becoming a landlord, fear not. We offer a lot of support and advice to private rented landlords. 

Empty homes loans

If you're struggling to get access to cash to carry out essential works and improve your empty property, then a loan from Rochdale Borough Council could help. Whether you want to create a more attractive property for the rental market, or you wish to occupy the property yourself, this low cost loan could help you add value to your property and bring it back to use. Loans are up to a maximum of £15,000 per property. These loans have a range of terms and conditions and we can discuss these with yo​​​​u in more detail. ​

If you refuse to bring you​​r property into use

If your property or land is causing a nuisance to the community then the council has powers to undertake works to deal with the issue. For example, we could remove any tipping that has occurred on your land, this will result in a charge which, if left unpaid, may result in you losing your property.

If you're unwilling to work with us to bring your property back into use then the council have a number of ways to deal with your empty property, these include:

  • Empty Dwelling Management Orders.
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders.
  • Enforced Sales.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders

If we're unable to persuade you to bring your property back into use then the council can, in specific circumstances and as a last resort, take over the management of your empty residential property. An Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) allows the council to carry out works to bring the property up to the decent home standards; we can then manage and rent the property out to tenants for a period of seven years. The owner will receive an income from the rent once the costs of refurbishment and the regular management costs have been taken out. 

Compulsory Purchase Orders

If we're unable to encourage you to bring your property back to use or you fail to comply with statutory notices to improve your property then the council, as a last resort, may consider using a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO). A CPO can be used by a local authority to acquire land without the owner’s permission if an agreement with the owner cannot be reached and where there is a strong enough case that it is in the public interest.

Enforced Sale

If the council carries out works in default then the costs can be recovered through processes of formal debt recovery, which can include securing a charge against the property.  Under Section103 of the Law of Property Act 1925, the Council has the power to sell properties in order to recover debt held on them as a land charge.

Is your property unoccupied?

Enquire about bringing your empty property back into use (opens in a new window)