Do you know of any empty properties on your street?
We need your help. If you know of a property such as a house or flat above a shop, please email the address to email@example.com or phone 020 8496 3000.
Landlords: Apply for up to £13,000 grant to improve your property
Empty properties in Waltham Forest
At any given time, there are approximately 1,500 long-term empty properties in Waltham Forest, and the Empty Property Team are currently targeting all of these by endeavouring to make contact with owners to bring them back into use.
An empty property is a waste of a useful resource, as it:
- could provide an additional home to a family on the Housing Register in an area of housing need
- attracts crime and anti-social behaviour
- reduces the value of surrounding properties
- is an eyesore in the neighbourhood
- is costly for the owner to maintain
- is costly for the local authority to investigate
Because of the above, the Empty Property team is very keen to work with owners of empty properties. One way is a non-repayable grant which is non-means tested. This means that it can be awarded to owners of empty properties regardless of their income status. The Empty Property team do, however, ask that once the payment is made and the works are completed, the property is then exclusively let to families on the Council's waiting list for a minimum period of five years at rents based on the LHA (Local Housing Allowance) rent.
The types of properties that can be considered for this grant are those that are currently registered as 'empty' according to Council Tax records; vacant plots of land with planning permission to build units (up to £13,000 is payable for each unit) and house conversions with planning permission to turn them into flats (again, up to £13,000 is also payable on each unit).
How to apply for grant funding
Please contact the Empty Property Team to request a Grant Pack which will explain the process and what paperwork you will need to supply. The contact details for the team can be found on the right hand side of this page.
Once the works are completed, the following certificates are required to ensure that the property complies with Health and Safety regulations:
- Landlord’s gas certificate
- Landlord’s electricity certificate
- Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS)
Owners of empty properties that get brought back into use with grant funding and who intend to manage their own property, will be expected to attend the one-day Landlord’s Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) course, before any grant funding is approved. Alternatively, owners can opt for their property to be managed by an accredited agent.
Whilst the Council wishes to offer the grant scheme to as many owners of empty properties as possible to bring them back into use, we will not hesitate to take action against them if they persistently refuse to work with us and allow their property to become neglected and subject to dereliction. We do this by serving Section 215 notices under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Empty Dwelling Management Orders under the Housing Act 2004, an Enforced Sale or a Compulsory Purchase Order. This would be the last resort, but one we would consider if necessary in the interests of the community.
The Empty Homes Agency is an independent campaigning charity that highlights the waste of empty properties in England. It also works to devise and promote sustainable solutions to bring empty properties back into use. Their website is www.emptyhomes.com.
Details of the Landlord’s Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) course can be found on their website www.londonlandlords.org.uk.
If you have any questions or queries about the grant scheme or enforcement action, or if you wish to report an empty property in your neighbourhood, please contact the Empty Property Team on 020 8496 3000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.