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Empty homes

We define a long term empty home as a residential property that has been left unoccupied for six months or more.

Bringing long-term empty homes back into use is a national priority to make better use of the existing housing stock. On a local level, housing within the Borough is in short supply. Long-term empty homes represent a wasted resource and can have a serious negative impact on local communities.

We are working with owners of properties and with local communities to make long-term empty, wasted property a thing of the past.

To find out more, please read our Empty Homes Strategy (PDF).

If you have any questions about the Council’s work in bringing long-term empty homes back in to use, please contact the Housing Strategy Team at housing.strategy@bedford.gov.uk.

What we can offer property owners

We are committed to bringing long-term empty properties back into use. We do this by offering to owners:

  • free advice and support with renting out property
  • a free tenancy deposit guarantee scheme
  • free identification of suitable tenants for properties in the scheme

If you are interested in renting your empty property through the Council, please follow the links below for further information:

Planning advice may be needed in some cases. There may be a charge for this. For more information, please visit our planning section.

If you’re the owner of a long-term empty property, you should contact us on housing.strategy@bedford.gov.uk about how we can work together to get it back into use.

Please note for persons interested in purchasing an empty property, GDPR legislation means that the Council cannot disclose details of empty homes owned by individuals.

Action we can take

Where an owner persistently leaves a property empty, we have a range of powers to bring it back into use including Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs)

Council tax and empty properties

Unless the property is exempt, Council Tax is charged in full for empty homes. Where a property is unoccupied and unfurnished for over two years, Council Tax is charged at a premium rate of 200%. For more information, please visit our Council tax on empty properties page. 

Reporting an empty home

Please tell us if you are concerned about an empty property in your neighbourhood.

Report an empty home 

Or email housing.strategy@bedford.gov.uk

If you think the property is being used for criminal activity contact Bedfordshire Police on 101.

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