Improving private housing
At any one time, there are around 2,500 vacant properties in the borough. The vast majority are quickly re-occupied but some remain vacant for some time. Properties empty for 12 months are what we call long term empty properties and are the Council's priority empty properties we are looking to get back into habitable use.
Empty homes are not just a wasted resource, they bring about many other problems too, including:
- The dumping of rubbish
- Complaints about overgrown gardens
- Vandalism, graffiti and other crime, including anti-social behaviour
- Empty properties are often used for squatting, drug dealing and are the subject of arson attacks
- They have a bad effect on the value and saleability of neighbouring properties.
- They create an eyesore in the street and make an area look run down.
- They can lead to pest control problems associated with rats and mice
Furthermore, with house building dramatically reduced and vacancy levels rising, we are in the middle of a housing crisis, and here in London the need to tackle this issue is now more important than ever.
At Wandsworth we have an empty homes strategy in a bid to tackle the problems associated with leaving homes empty long term, along with a team of dedicated empty properties officers, to bring these homes back into use.
Although it is not illegal to keep a home empty, the Council does have enforcement powers to bring vacant properties back into use.
Reporting an empty property
As a resident in the Wandsworth Borough you can help us too by reporting an empty property. Complete our online form or alternatively, access the reportemptyhomes.com website run by the Empty Homes Agency and insert full details. They will refer cases in Wandsworth to us.
Contact an Empty Properties Officer
Telephone: 020 8871 7668