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Why should I do anything with my empty property?

Empty properties overview


  • An empty home is costing you money
  • An occupied home could be giving you a regular income
  • A sold home could give you a windfall payment

Enforcement action

The Borough Council will always try to work with owners to bring their properties back into use.

The Operational Property Enforcement Task Group is Great Yarmouth Borough Council's joint enforcement group for empty premises and has been operating for two years with several success stories; the group is made up of officers from planning enforcement, building control, environmental health, planning and housing. Properties identified as a problem are raised at the group for enforcement action. The group can offer advice and support to owners of all empty premises, not just residential, but also have enforcement powers, including those to take ownership of persistently problematic properties.


Changes to the law, creating assured shorthold tenancies, means you are guaranteed vacant possession of your property if you decide you want to sell or no longer rent.

If you have no experience of letting a property or don't want to manage yourself, using a property management company can help. Several are operating in the Great Yarmouth Borough, all of which have stated the high need for rental properties.


Empty properties deteriorate rapidly, which is a cost to you and opens you up to enforcement action.

Many people looking to purchase are happy to take on a project, don't let the condition of your property discourage you from selling. 

The Borough Council can provide details of private companies looking to invest in properties in Great Yarmouth. Those who have agreed to their details being shared on the website are shown below: 

  • Lindanna Properties Ltd
    49 Station Road
    East Sussex
    BN26 6EA
    07375 060051
  • Patrick Small
    07561 653125
  • Sophie Cator
    07393 442148
  • Jez Dyer
    07715 675517
  • Jim Collin
    07983 527882
  • Sarah Jane Edwards
    07856 700131
    01621 983103
  • Callum Stevens
    07854 933226

Without prejudice to the general Website Disclaimer, any provision of third party information is not investment advice. Further, the Council has no contractual relationship with any company or organisation listed, and offers no warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, veracity or otherwise of the information made available or omitted from this page and accepts no liability for loss or damage (actual or otherwise) to any party arising in connection with information made available or omitted.

The Borough Council is looking to purchase properties of various types and sizes which meet a specific need. If you would like further details please contact the Empty Homes Officer.

Housing need

You often hear the term 'The Housing Crisis'.

Great Yarmouth has a shortage of housing, both private and affordable so leaving a property empty only exacerbates this problem. As at October 2022, Great Yarmouth had 613 long-term empty homes.

Estate agents state that the need for privately rented accommodation is increasing in Great Yarmouth, with properties barely being available for a day before being snapped up. 

The Local Plan demonstrates an objectively assessed need for 420 homes per year to keep up with growth.


Great Yarmouth Borough Council has aspirations for the future of the town. The Plan states that we are working towards:

'Improved housing and strong communities ... focusing on improving the range and quality of housing in the borough.'

Why not become a part of it?

What powers do local authorities have?

Great Yarmouth Borough Council's priority is to work with owners to bring properties back into use, by offering information and support where we can. Enforcement action is only used as a last resort.

The Operational Property Enforcement Task Group is Great Yarmouth Borough Council's joint enforcement group for empty properties. Properties identified as a problem are raised at the group for enforcement action.

The table below details some of the more common legislation used when enforcing against owners.

Table of powers
Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs)

CPOs allow Local Authorities (LAs) to take ownership of a property or land.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council only use CPOs when other avenues have been exhausted and there appears to be no way forward with a property.

Several CPOs have been successfully completed throughout the town to date.

Housing Act 1985, Section 17

This gives LAs the power to take over land, houses or other properties to increase the number of houses available or improve the quality of the housing stock.

This power is usually reserved for land acquisitions but can apply to empty homes when improving substandard ones.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 226

This gives LAs the power they need to help achieve their community strategies allowing them to acquire land for redevelopment.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 215

Where the property is detrimental to the street scene, these powers are used to force an owner to tidy a property. 

Non-compliance of this notice can result in an initial fine of £1,000, prosecution and costs being applied to the property.

Building Act 1984, Sections 76, 77, 78 and 79

Where the property is considered dangerous or dilapidated, these powers are used to order the owner to make the property safe or allow emergency action to make it safe.

Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 80

Where properties are considered a statutory nuisance or affecting health, this legislation gives LAs the power to order the owner to make the property safe or allow emergency action to make it safe.

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Section 29

This legislation is used to address empty properties which are not secure and are being broken into, vandalised or used for illegal activities.

The owner can be ordered to make the property secure or, in an emergency, be boarded or fenced off.

Law of Property Act 1925, Section 103

Where a charge has been applied to a property through works completed in default of the above notices, this legislation gives LAs all the legal rights of a mortgage lender and enables the enforced sale of a property.

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