Many people in the community feel strongly that properties should not be allowed to stay empty when there are people looking for new homes. Research we have carried out in Bury and other areas shows that some owners keep properties empty because they do not know how, or cannot, maintain it. We can help you by giving you information and advice and telling you about other support networks.
There are currently more than 1000 empty properties in the Bury area. We have an environmental health officer, and an Empty Property Strategy which we have designed to encourage you to bring your properties back into use.
Reporting an empty property
When you contact us to report an empty property it would be useful if you could tell us the following information about the property.
Approximately how long has the property been empty for.
Any information about who owns the property.
Whether anybody visits the property.
If there is a 'for sale' or 'to let' sign up within the boundary of the property.
If you know if the property has been repossessed.
If the property open to access.
Empty property - information leaflets
If you own an empty property or you want advice on empty properties, we have designed information leaflets to help you which are available to download.
How to join the empty property investors list
Please complete the data protection and disclaimer information found on the right of this page and send the document to ,
The empty property investors list has been set up to help people who want to buy empty properties in Bury. Anybody with an empty property that they want to sell can refer to this list and contact an interested buyer.
Frequently asked questions
When is a property classed as an empty?
A property is classed as being officially empty if it has been unoccupied for 6 months or over. If a property is empty for less than six months it may be due to a delayed sale or the property is in-between lettings.
Can I do anything to bring an empty property back into use?
If you are aware of a property that has been empty for a long time please contact us. We are usually aware of empty properties from Council Tax records and have often been in contact with the owner regarding their intentions regarding the property.
Should you wish to contact the owner of the property because you have an interest in purchasing the property, it is possible to contact the Land Registry in order to try and find who owns the property. We may pass on your interest to the owner if we suspect the owner may be interested in selling the property.
Who is responsible for securing an empty property?
The owner of the property is responsible for securing their property. If the owner fails to ensure the property is secure then we can secure the property against unauthorised access and charge the owner for the work carried out.
Can empty property owners receive assistance for renovation work?
If a property has been empty for 3 or more years then a builder can charge a reduced 5% rate of VAT on work to renovate the property.
A developer or house owner can claim back all the VAT charged on the renovation of a building that has been empty for 10 years. The developer will have to register for VAT and sell the house to claim the VAT (this relief is not applicable where a property is let). The house owner can claim for the VAT under the DIY Builders Refund Scheme available from Customs and Excise if they are retaining the property for private residential use and do not intend selling the property.
Owners of empty properties may qualify for an empty property grant to assist in renovating their properties.
Can action be taken to improve the appearance of an empty property?
If an empty property is classed as detrimental to the amenity of the area under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 action can be taken by the Council to improve the appearance of the property. This action would be undertaken by the Planning Enforcement Section.