Empty properties

Properties undergoing repairs or alterations

A property is said to be uninhabitable if it is not safe or not fit to live in.

We consider a property to be uninhabitable if either:

  • it is currently undergoing major repair work to make it suitable to live in
  • work is underway to make structural alterations and the majority of this work has not been completed

The following types of repairs can make a property uninhabitable:

  • roofs
  • major repairs to roof structures
  • rebuilding defective chimney stack(s)
  • external walls
  • rebuilding external walls – for example, to extend the property
  • foundations
  • repair or renewal of foundations
  • underpinning substandard foundations
  • floors
  • replacing defective solid floors
  • replacing defective solid floor joists
  • internal
  • property totally gutted including removing most internal walls – not stud or partition walls
  • replacing defective ceiling joists
  • rebuilding defective walls – not stud or partition walls

The following are repairs and alterations that do not make a property uninhabitable:

  • plumbing or heating
  • replacement or repair of bathroom and kitchen or any other fitting or fixture
  • rewiring
  • timber or damp proof treatments
  • re-plastering
  • drainage
  • repairs or renewals of services
  • maintenance – for example, re-pointing, window replacement, door replacement
  • redecoration

Empty Property scheme

Owners of empty properties can apply for financial help of up to £6,000 towards major repair works that would make a property fit to live in. Find out more about our Empty Property scheme.