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Renovating your empty home


Bringing an empty home back into use can be expensive. Consider the following questions:

  • How much is the property worth now?
  • How much would it be worth in good condition?
  • How much would it cost to renovate?
  • How much rent could it achieve?

Get advice from local estate agents and a surveyor to get accurate answers; the figures should help you decide on the best option.

Compliance with local authority planning and building consent restrictions

Speak to our Planning Department to be sure your plans for redevelopment comply with current legislation; if they don't, you will not get planning approval or building control consent and you may need to start again. Talk to them sooner rather than later and obtain advice and guidance so that you do not waste valuable time and money.

The Planning Portal (opens new window) has useful information and supporting documents.

The following may also be of use:

The No Use Empty (opens new window) website gives further tips and advice on having building works done.


Finding mortgages for renovating empty properties can be difficult as a derelict property, or one which is in need of investment, has limited value until the renovation is complete.

Lender's consider this high risk, as they would not be able to recover their investment if you default on your payments.

You should ensure you carry out your own searches for a mortgage which suits your personal circumstances.

To help your case, have information to hand which will help them make a decision. This could include: 

  • how much the property is worth
  • renovation costs
  • expected income from rental or expected sale price on completion of the works

The Housing Act

The Housing Act 2004 (opens new window) introduced legislation to protect the most vulnerable people in society and help to create a fairer and better housing market.

The Housing Act 2004 introduced the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (opens new window) (HHSRS). 

The HHSRS reflects the significant impact that housing can have on occupiers, not only physically but also emotionally and socially.

If you are thinking of offering a property for rent, there are 29 hazards which you must consider when deciding if it is suitable.

Housing adaptations for disabled people
Disabled facilities grants fund adaptations to your home to help you live independently.

Houses in multiple occupation
From 1 October 2018 all privately rented properties housing five or more persons, forming two or more households, will require to be licensed by the Council.

Tenants deposits
All landlords are legally required to use a Deposit Protection Scheme (opens new window) to safeguard deposits taken for assured shorthold tenancy agreements.

The 29 Hazards

When considering renting out a property there are hazards you must consider before deciding if your property is suitable. The 29 categories of housing hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (opens new window) are:

  1. Damp and mould growth
  2. Excess cold
  3. Excess heat
  4. Asbestos (and manufactured mineral fibres)
  5. Biocides
  6. Carbon monoxide (CO) and fuel combustion products
  7. Lead
  8. Radiation
  9. Uncombusted fuel gas
  10. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  11. Crowding and space
  12. Entry by intruders
  13. Lighting
  14. Noise
  15. Domestic hygiene pests and refuse
  16. Food safety
  17. Personal hygiene, sanitation and drainage
  18. Water supply
  19. Falls associated with baths
  20. Falling on level surfaces
  21. Falling on stairs etc
  22. Falling between levels
  23. Electrical hazards
  24. Fire
  25. Flames and hot surfaces
  26. Collisions, cuts and strains
  27. Explosions
  28. Position and operability of amenities
  29. Structural collapse and falling elements

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