Home Business and economy Knowsley Council marks Empty Homes Week 2024
National Empty Homes Week logo. March 4-10 2024.

Knowsley Council marks Empty Homes Week 2024

by Jonathan Kearney

Knowsley Council is supporting National Empty Homes week, which takes place from Monday 4 March until Sunday 10 March 2024.

The Council will be supporting the owners of empty homes in the borough and taking action around empty homes that are having a negative impact on our communities.

Across the North West region there has been a 5% increase in the number of empty properties over the last 12 months.  However, Knowsley has been bucking the national trend and due to a variety of factors have seen a decrease in the number of long-term empty homes in the borough.

Knowsley Council continues to proactively work with owners and developers to look at ways empty properties can be brought back into sustainable use. Where necessary, the Council can also undertake enforcement measures where empty properties are having a detrimental impact on our communities.

Problems with empty homes

Empty homes can lead to pest issues and overgrown gardens.  They can also be the target for anti-social behaviour, such as fly tipping, vandalism and even environmental related damage, such as burst water pipes in the colder months.

Solutions Knowsley Council can offer

The council is committed to minimise the number of long-term empty homes in the borough, working with owners and neighbours who can be impacted by the blight empty homes can cause.

The Council is offering advice on how owners can reduce VAT liabilities on homes that have been empty for two years or more and as always offering to help connect possible sellers with a wide range of potential investors currently registered with the council.

There are a variety of reasons why homes are empty, but there are a range of actions homeowners can take if they have an empty property. The most straight forward option is to sell the property. Alternatively, you could consider letting it out, meaning you will receive a regular income.  If you are an owner of an empty home, Knowsley Council will likely be writing out to you over the course of this week, however, please feel free contact Knowsley Council on 07824 372 285 for advice and signpost you to support, or financial assistance to help return your property, back into a family home.

It’s advised that you become accredited with your local authority or join a national organisation such the Residential Landlords Association or the National Landlords Association. Alternatively, Knowsley Council offer the Knowsley Landlord Accreditation Scheme – a voluntary scheme designed to recognise good quality, well managed private sector accommodation in Knowsley. Unlike other similar schemes the Knowsley Landlord Accreditation Scheme is free to join!

Support is available for the renovation of long-term empty properties through a reduction in VAT that is paid on certain elements of the refurbishment, depending on how long the property has been empty, with a two-year and ten-year empty discount. You can find specific details on VAT reductions on the Government’s website.

Further information about empty homes in Knowsley is available on the Council’s website.

To report any issues relating to an empty home, please contact the Council’s Empty Homes Officer on 07824 372 285 or email empty.homes@knowsley.gov.uk