National Empty Homes Week

National Empty Homes Week

14:01 PM, 24th September 2019, About 4 years ago 3

Text Size

Monday 23rd September marks the start of National Empty Homes Week. The Empty Homes Week was founded by Action on Empty Homes to highlight Britain’s underused or completely unused housing stock and to encourage action on how it can serve those with housing needs.

Action on Empty Homes estimate that nationally there are over 216,000 long-term empty houses – enough to house nearly 1 million people, but that is only houses that have been empty for more than six months. The Ministry of Housing Community and Local Government (MHCLG) estimates there were over 630,000 empty homes in October 2018, a 4.7% increase on the previous year.

Local Authorities are one of the nation’s most notable owners of housing stock, with an estimated 1.59 million homes under management of councils in England as of 1st April 2018.

Andy Sommerville, Director of Search Acumen, comments:

“As Action on Empty Homes’ National Empty Homes Week highlights, there are 216,000 houses which have not been occupied for at least six months. The reason why so many stand empty is multifaceted, but the key factor is just how drawn out and convoluted the property selling process can be – in 2018, almost one in five complaints about law firms were due to delays in the completion of conveyancing services. For those dealing with complex personal and legal issues, such as bereavements, managing elderly care and legal disputes, the selling process becomes even more time consuming and inefficient, leaving precious properties in limbo and empty.

“But there are inefficiencies at a wider level too. Local Authorities play an integral role in helping house families in need. Unfortunately, there are 45,632 local authority houses that are empty and Search Acumen estimates there could be more that are unaccounted for.

“On both the personal homebuying level and governmental housing management level, digital technology can help use resources more efficiently: whether that’s improving the transaction process or better managing large property portfolios. With enough imagination and compassion, and common-sense use of the latest in data tech, we can help everyone get the home they want and make the most of what we already have.”


[1] Action on Empty Homes:

[2] Empty Housing (England), UK Parliament Briefing Paper, Number 3012, 29th May 2019

[3] Local Authority Housing Statistics: Year ending March 2018, England, MHCLG, 24th January 2019

[4] Ibid

Share This Article


dismayed landlord

8:38 AM, 25th September 2019, About 4 years ago

Also I suspect there is a large number of landlords who have empty properties but are not sure of the future to risk re letting them. Not knowing if they are going to be forced to sell them in the future for a discount to tenants, or to be hit with a large compensation claim from a tenant, or unable to simply evict a tenant without Section 21. I am now one of these. Was going to ditch the lot in one year but upon reflection I'll sit with a few empty (on the market at higher amounts than even I realistically expect to achieve - well I could be lucky!) until the PRS media and government witch hunt settles. Just a thought but if we all did that ……………………. maybe bring a bit of common sense to the market?

Michael Barnes

12:07 PM, 25th September 2019, About 4 years ago

Action on Empty Homes estimate that nationally there are over 216,000 thousand long-term empty house

216 million?

Rob Crawford

12:15 PM, 25th September 2019, About 4 years ago

I bet most of these will need some investment before they would be considered habitable. Having killed off the PRS, the number of investors will be substantially reduced.

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now