What is an empty home?
A long term empty home is any privately owned home that has been empty for 6 months or more.
Empty homes are a wasted resource that could be used to help meet housing need. They can also cause problems for residents living nearby and can have a negative impact on the wider community.
Bringing empty homes back into use can increase housing supply, improve community safety and contribute to regeneration.
What is the Council's role with empty homes?
It is an owner's responsibility to look after their property. However, if a home gets "stuck" and is empty for a long time, we help to fix the problem. We will work with owners to find the best way to bring empty properties back into use.
- How to report an Empty Home
If you would like more information on what you could do with your empty property and the help available, please contact us:
For further information see our Falkirk Empty Homes leaflet:
- Falkirk Empty Homes leaflet
Frequently asked questions
- Why should I bring my empty property back into use?
- What options are available to bring my empty property back into use?
- Can I be forced to bring my empty property back into use?
Why should I bring my empty property back into use?
Owning an empty property is an expensive responsibility. You will be paying Council Tax, security and maintenance costs and may have to deal with burst pipes, fire vandalism and complaints from neighbours.
There are many benefits to bringing your empty property back into use:
- Income if the property is sold
- Rental income
- Increased property value
- Reduced outgoings if the property is let out to tenants
- Reduced insurance costs
What options are available to bring my empty property back into use?
We work with property owners to bring empty properties back into use.
Help and advice is available on:
- Private Sector Leasing
- Private renting through a local agent.
- The Empty Homes Loan Fund. If your property does not meet the repairing standard and has been empty for over 6 months, it may be eligible for an interest free loan.
- The Matchmaker Scheme. This scheme has been developed to assist owners considering selling their properties and for buyers specifically looking to buy an empty home to register an interest.
- Managing the property yourself.
- Selling the property through an estate agent or via auction.
- VAT discounts that are available for empty properties.
- Energy Efficiency Advice.
Can I be forced to bring my empty property back into use?
We are able to offer information, guidance and support to empty home owners, as well as financial assistance through the Empty Homes Loan Fund. However, when these efforts fail there are a range of powers available that can be used to bring empties back into use:
- Works Notices - This is an order to carry out repairs or improvements to your home. The notice will tell you the work you have to carry out and the standards it must meet when completed. If you do not carry out the work, we may choose to enforce the works, resources permitting, if it is in the wider community interest and taking all circumstances into account, the problem has not been resolved within a reasonable time.
- Compulsory Purchase Order - This power is available to us where it is in the public interest and Scottish Ministers approve the compulsory purchase. It can be used as a last resort where an owner has resisted all voluntary attempts to bring the property back into use.