Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is launching a new initiative aimed at understanding the extent to which empty homes have sprung up across its area in recent years.
All landlords across the district are to be sent letters detailing the importance of bringing as many homes back into full-time use as possible across the borough, with property owners being given the opportunity to provide feedback to the local authority on how it can improve its services to promote greater uptake of rented accommodation.
The responses are to be correlated as part of the 2013 Empty Homes Survey that is being carried out by the council’s Private Sector Housing Team, with its results to be fed back to the public and council staff later in the year.
Stockton council’s cabinet member for housing and community safety councillor Steve Nelson said: “Empty homes can become an eye sore and attract anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping which impact on our communities.
“That is why we would like to do all we can to support property owners in bringing any empty homes back into use.”
He added the project aims to assist landlords in finding suitable tenants who will value their property, meaning it is a win-win for both the council and homeowners.
Tackling the issue of empty homes up and down the country is one both the government and many local authorities are eager to tackle.
It comes as many parts of the UK continue to struggle with a shortage in appropriate accommodation for those seeking to get a foot on to the property ladder and therefore any new insights into this issue the survey can provide will be warmly welcomed.
Unoccupied building insurance from GSI Insurance Services (Southern) Limited could be the perfect option for landlords who plan to leave a property without a permanent tenant for 30 days or more.
It offers comprehensive cover against damage to the building and its contents while it is unoccupied and can be easily transferred back to a standard home insurance policy when the owner has someone who is ready to move in.