Last updated: 6 April 2023
Next review: 6 April 2024
There are about 1,500 long-term empty properties in Waltham Forest that could potentially become a new home for you or your family.
Report an empty property on your street
We need your help. If you know of an empty property, like a house or flat above a shop, please contact us immediately as it could be turned into a new home for people who need it.
If you own an empty property
If you own an empty property, we want to work with you to bring your empty property back into use.
If you own an empty property that has been empty for over two years, you may be eligible for a Reduced VAT letter that offers up to 5% VAT. Please contact the Empty Property Team for an appointment to inspect the property. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t co-operate with our efforts to bring your empty property back into use, in certain cases we could have to:
- serve a compulsory purchase order
- take action to sell your property
Empty property VAT reductions
Your VAT costs can be reduced when refurbishing your empty property for residential use.
You may be eligible for a reduction in VAT to 5% if:
- your property has been empty for a minimum of two or more years before you start works
- the property will be used for residential purposes after you complete the works
- you will be using builders to complete the works.
Further information can be found on the GOV.UK Website: (VAT for builders).
A property might be empty if:
- Windows have been broken or left open a long time
- Post is piling up
- No lights in the property
- Doors and windows boarded up
- No rubbish collected from bins in a long time
Please report an empty property giving as much detail as possible.
Problems caused by empty properties
- Fly tipping
- Overgrown gardens
- Drug Use
- Vandalism and graffiti
- Negative effect on sales if you live next to one
What the council can do if your property is left empty
Where we can’t find the owner or they refuse to cooperate, we may:
- Serve notices with regard to pests, rubbish tipping, or other nuisance.
- We may enforce a sale to recover any debt owed to the council.
- We may start compulsory purchase proceedings and the property sold at auction.
Freedom of information requests
Exemption under section 31 of the Freedom of Information, law enforcement, means we do not give out names of businesses or address empty commercial and lists of privately owned empty properties.
This is because we consider disclosing this information would make them a target of crime.
Renting your empty property
Lettings Waltham Forest is Waltham Forest Council’s in-house letting agency helping landlords find keyworkers and professional tenants for their properties at market rates.
We require properties of all sizes within Waltham Forest and can even help you refurbish your property to bring it to a lettable standard.
You can access further information about our services through the Lettings Waltham Forest - Landlords Letting Pack (PDF).
To find out more about what we offer, visit our letting your property page
To get more information, please contact the team by calling 0208 496 4865 or 0208 496 5525 or by sending an email to email@example.com