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Empty homes

Long-term empty properties are a wasted resource at a time when Scotland needs more homes, and can be a blight on communities. Our focus is on bringing as many empty homes back into use as possible.

Empty Homes Partnership

Since 2010, we have funded Shelter Scotland to develop and deliver the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, which gives advice to home owners and works with councils to develop empty homes services to help bring private sector empty homes back into use.

Shared Service Empty Homes Officers

Following the success of the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, we have provided funding support for a number of empty homes officers, who work strategically across specific council areas to tackle problematic empty homes.

Shelter Scotland has a list of contact details for Empty Homes Officers across Scotland.

If there is no empty homes officer currently operating in your area, contact the Empty Homes Advisory Service on 0344 515 1941. In the longer term, Ministers want to see Empty Homes Officer support available across all of Scotland.

Council tax on second and long-term unoccupied homes

To encourage property owners to bring their properties back into use and discourage properties being left empty for long periods, the Local Government Finance (Unoccupied Properties etc.) (Scotland) Act 2012 and its subsequent regulations, allow councils to both remove the discount on certain types of unoccupied homes and increase the level of council tax payable on these properties.