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Publication - Research Publications

Review of the Private Rented Sector: Volume 4: Bringing Private Sector empty houses into use

Published: 24 Mar 2009
ISBN:
978 0 7559 7467

A review of initiatives to address the problem of empty houses drawn from case studies across the UK.

100 page PDF

598.7kB

100 page PDF

598.7kB

Contents
Review of the Private Rented Sector: Volume 4: Bringing Private Sector empty houses into use
ANNEX 3 RESULTS OF ONLINE SURVEY

100 page PDF

598.7kB

ANNEX 3 RESULTS OF ONLINE SURVEY

This annex provides the tabular data, from the online survey of Scottish local authorities.

Response rate

Responses were received from 27 local authorities.

Table A3.1 How significant a problem are empty homes?

Response Percent %

Response Count

Significant

19.0

4

Minor

66.7

14

Not a problem

14.3

3

Table A3.2 Does the local authority collate figures on numbers/ locations of empty private sector properties in their area?

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Yes - at structured intervals

12.5

3

Yes - on an ad hoc basis

50.0

12

No

37.5

9

no response

3

Table A3.3 Information sources found most useful.

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Council Tax records

94.1

16

Local surveys

23.5

4

2001 Census

41.2

7

no response

10

Table A 3.4 Strategy documents that address the issue of empty homes

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Issue addressed briefly in Local Housing Strategy

78.3

18

Issue addressed in some detail in LHS

4.3

1

Issue addressed briefly in Private Sector Housing Strategy

30.4

7

Issue addressed in some detail in PSHS

8.7

2

Specific Empty Property/Homes Strategy developed

0.0

0

Empty Property/Homes strategy under development

17.4

4

No strategy felt to be required

13.0

3

No strategy yet considered

30.4

7

no response

4

Table A3.5 Has your LA made an estimate of resource requirements (staff, finances etc) to bring empty properties back into use?

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Yes

8.0

2

No

76.0

19

Don't know

16.0

4

no response

2

Table A3.6 Resources currently devoted to dealing with empty private sector houses.

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Have a full time officer with particular responsibility for dealing with empty homes

0.0

0

Have a part time officer with particular responsibility for dealing with empty homes

0.0

0

Dealing with empty homes is just part of one officer's job description

29.2

7

Have a budget set aside for dealing with empty homes

0.0

0

Maintain lists of empty private sector properties

0.0

0

Have worked with local landlord forums / estate owners to discuss how empty properties could be brought back into use.

20.8

5

No resources

54.2

13

no response

3

Table A3. 7 Local pressures to deal with empty homes to which local authorities have been subject.

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Owners seeking assistance to bring empty houses back into use?

29.4

5

Approaches from people needing housing that have identified empty properties as a potential source of housing?

29.4

5

RSLs / other bodies identifying empty homes as a housing supply issue?

23.5

4

RSLs / other bodies identifying empty homes as a regeneration issue?

35.3

6

General housing supply issues

82.4

14

Developers looking to convert non-residential buildings to housing?

23.5

4

no response

10

Table A3.8 Factors thought to lead to properties being empty and the impact of these factors on empty homes within the local authority's area.

Major Issue

Contrib-uting Factor

Not Signif-icant

Don't know

Overall score given for signif-icance

(Note 1)

Cost of repairs

7

7

2

6

21

Commercial / estate owners who don't want to let

3

8

5

6

14

Individual owners who don't want to let

4

8

5

5

16

Owners who find being a landlord too onerous

1

8

5

7

10

Empty homes are unsuitable for a variety of reasons

5

3

4

8

13

Empty homes are result of over supply

0

1

15

4

1

Other

0

0

0

2

0

no response

5

Note 1 A score of 2 was given for "major issue" and 1 for "having a contributing factor",

Table A3.9 Experience of initiatives available to deal with empty homes

used successfully

used but would not use again

not used but would like to try

not used and unlikely to do so

Response Count

Lead tenancies

7

2

6

5

20

Rural Empty Properties Grants

3

0

6

8

17

Repair / improvement grants targeted to empty properties

7

0

6

5

18

Support for private landlords generally ( e.g. Private sector leasing schemes, rent deposit guarantee schemes.)

17

0

6

0

23

no response

3

Table A3.10 Initiatives used to bring second homes into mainstream letting.

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Yes

8.7

2

No

91.3

21

Please use this space to add any comment you wish to make

4

no response

4

Table A3.11 Has the LA followed any initiatives for conversion of unused buildings / structures to housing use?

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Yes

50.0

12

No

50.0

12

Please use this space to add any comment you wish to make

12

no response

3

Table A3.12 Has the LA followed any initiatives to lease vacant properties owned by other public sector bodies? ( e.g. Health Boards, Forestry Commission etc.).

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Yes

21.7

5

No

78.3

18

no response

4

Table A3.13 Occupancy of homes developed under stated initiatives.

Used mainly for below market rent

Used mainly for market rent

Used mainly for rent but end occupancy not known or mixed

Not used at all

Lead tenancies

4

0

1

8

Rural Empty Homes Grants

0

1

1

10

Repair / improvement grants targeted at empty properties

2

2

0

6

Support for private landlords e.g. private sector leasing schemes, rent deposit guarantee schemes

5

5

2

3

Second homes brought into use

1

0

0

9

Converted properties brought into use

2

4

0

6

Other public sector properties brought into use (as in Q13)

3

2

0

5

No response 10

Table A3.14 Estimate of number of empty homes brought back into use over the past 3 years.

Years

Response Count

0

6

1 - 10

4

11 - 30

1

30+

2

no response

13

Table A3.15 End use of the empty houses brought back into use (estimate).

Average %

Below market rent (%)

48

Market / near market rent (%)

42

Sale on open market (%)

10

no response

17

Table A3.16 Estimate of the resources required to deal with empty homes.

Respondent 1

Respondent 2

Cost of upgrading identified empty properties

£4M

£6.4M

Promotional / support staff numbers

1

40

no response

25

Table A3.17 Views on the usefulness of specified support mechanisms in bringing properties back into use.

Potentially useful

Not sufficiently useful to justify use of resources

Unlikely to be useful

No views

Officer support group - as in National Association of Empty Property Practitioners

12

2

2

6

New agency (as in Empty Homes Agency)

8

5

2

6

Regional consortia of authorities to provide specialist services to deal with empty properties.

13

2

1

6

Table A3. 18 Views on applicability of specified initiatives

Already using

Would like to try

Likely to be not worth the effort

Not useful at all

Overall score

(Note 1)

Empty Dwelling Management Orders (a power given to English LAs to allow them to take over management of empty properties)

0

13

7

1

4

Council tax penalties

5

9

5

0

9

Public Request to Order Disposal (power in E&W to force sale of unused public property)

0

7

9

2

-6

Support mechanisms for RSL and LA officers dealing with empty homes

1

15

1

1

13

Lists of empties available to those who would like to rent / develop

0

17

3

0

14

Web site listing void properties

0

16

3

1

11

Note 1 The overall score was derived from scoring 1 for already using and would like to use, -1 for likely not to be worth the effort and -2 for not useful at all

Table A3.19 Number of local authorities applying reduced Council Tax discount

Discount offered on empty or second homes

Number of responses

Up to 10%

10

10% - 50%

3

Over 50%

7

No response

7

Table A3.20 Views on the impact of reduced Council tax discount on vacant properties

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Encouraged voids back into use

9.1

2

No impact on numbers, but raised additional revenue

27.3

6

No impact on numbers or revenue.

13.6

3

Don't know

50.0

11

Table A3.21 Views on the impact of the new Scheme of Assistance (Housing (Scotland) Act 2006) on properties being brought back into use

Response Frequency %

Response Count

Likely to have large positive effect

0

0

Likely to have small positive effect

47.4

9

No effect

26.3

5

Likely to have small negative effect

15.8

3

Likely to have large negative effect

10.5

2


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