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Empty homes

South Ayrshire Council is committed to meeting local housing need by reducing the number of empty properties in the area. Bringing long term empty properties back into use offers a range of benefits to owners, the Council, local communities and the environment.

Do you own an Empty Home?

If the answer is yes, you could be missing out on a significant cash flow and leaving yourself open to a number of costs and risks. As you will no doubt be aware, the costs of owning an empty property can be significant. Responsibility for Council Tax bills lie with the owner, while the potential for repairs and maintenance issues are significantly increased with empty properties. In addition, empty homes also have the potential to attract crime and anti-social behaviour, again leading to significant cost.

At the same time, the potential to earn a regular income from your empty home in South Ayrshire is high. Demand for properties in this area is significant, and an average 2 bedroom flat could provide returns of £5,100 per annum if it were to be rented out (based on current LHA rates).

How can we help?

Your Empty Homes Officer can offer a range of advice and assistance to help you consider the options available to you to bring your property back into use.

You can get help with:

  • Repairing the property to bring it up to an acceptable standard: You may be eligible to receive an interest free loan from the Empty homes loan fund to complete the works to bring the property back into use. You may also be able to access cost savings on any works being carried out.
  • Renting the property: We can help you consider the options open to you, from renting and managing the property yourself through to giving advice on selecting a letting agent. We can offer guidance on making the property more appealing to potential tenants as well as helping you understand the responsibilities you will face as a new landlord.
  • Selling the property: We can offer a range of advice and assistance to owners considering selling their property, from making the property more saleable through to providing information on dealing with estate agents. We also currently operate a Matchmaking service which seeks to put owners of empty homes in touch with prospective buyers who have indicated an interest in buying an empty home.
  • Renovations: We can provide guidance in identifying and costing works, selecting a contractor and identifying possible financial assistance to bring your property back into use. If your property has been empty for a sustained period of time, you may also be able to access significant savings on VAT costs of qualifying renovation works.

Are you interested in buying an Empty Home?

Buying an empty property could be seen as a daunting and painstaking prospect for some people.

However empty properties offer considerable potential for property developers, investors and buyers alike. An empty home needing some renovation can provide an excellent opportunity to buy at a more affordable price, while the buyer will also have the advantage of vacant possession. At the same time, demand for accommodation in South Ayrshire remains high, and as such buying an empty home with the intention of renovating for sale or rent could offer real rewards in the long-term. If you are interested in purchasing empty properties in South Ayrshire, you can apply to have your details put on the Matchmaker Scheme. Should a 'match' be identified, your contact details will be passed to the owner.

Report an Empty Home

Long-term empty homes can often be an eye-sore for local people, falling into disrepair and attracting criminality and anti-social behaviour. At the same time, these homes represent an opportunity for communities, allowing more families to access appropriate housing. With this in mind, South Ayrshire Council is committed to ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to bring these empty homes back into use. If you are aware of an empty property in your area please report this to your Empty Homes Officer who will then carry out an investigation to determine what action is necessary to bring the property back into use.

Further Information

Empty Homes

Kyle McKay
Policy Officer
2-6 The Cross

Tel: 01292 473469