Council powers

Council Powers

Most Local Authorities in North Wales have an Empty Homes Officer. Their job is to help you find a use for the property. Usually they will only use their enforcement powers when the property is causing a nuisance and negotiations have failed.

They have three main enforcement powers:

Enforced Sale
If you have debts to the Local Authority secured on the property they can require you to pay them back. If you don't they can force the property's sale in order to get its money.

Compulsory purchase
Your Local Authority almost certainly has the power to buy your empty property with or without your permission. However, they can only do so if you have no realistic plans for it yourself and you won't consider any voluntary options for returning it to use. Local Authorities don’t use the power that often, although some use it more than others. If they compulsorily purchase your property they will pay you full market value and sometimes additional compensation payments. If you are threatened with compulsorily purchase and you want to avoid it happening, talk to the Local Authority and try and agree a voluntary solution. If the council go ahead anyway you do of course have a right of appeal.

For more information see:

Empty Dwellings Management Orders
If you have rejected reasonable voluntary solutions the Local Authority has the power to take over the management of the property. Initially for up to a year, but if you still can't agree on a voluntary solution with the local authority it can be extended by up to seven years. You will retain ownership of the property and will receive rent if any is due. The Local Authority will have most of the rights of a landlord including the right to do repairs and rent out the property, although they won't be able to sell it or secure debts on it. If this power is used you can contest it at any stage.

For more information see:

Contact Gwynedd Council to discuss empty homes on Tel : 01758 704127 (Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm)