How do I report an empty property?

If there is a home in your neighbourhood that has been left vacant and you are concerned about it, we want to know. To report an empty property you should contact the Customer Contact Centre and tell us:

  • approximately how long 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
  • what is wrong with the property - for example is there an accumulation of waste or is it open to access

If the property you are reporting as empty is a Six Town Housing property, please report this directly to Six Town Housing on 0161 686 8000 or

Please note: 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.

Report an empty or hazardous property

Can action be taken on an empty property?

Bury Council has a duty to provide information, guidance, and general support to owners of empty properties. Through this support the majority of properties can be returned to use, however, where negotiations with an owner have failed there are a number of powers available to make sure the property is brought back into use.

The decision to take further action will depend on the individual circumstances of the case and factors such as the length of time a property has been empty and previous correspondence with the Local Authority. Some of the common actions that we make take include:

  • Improvement notices to ensure necessary remedial works are carried out at properties
  • Under The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 s.29 we can ensure empty properties are secure and don't pose a danger to the public
  • Serve notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to ensure they are not a statutory nuisance
  • Take action to improve the appearance of a property if classed as a detrimental to the amenity under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Acquisition of land and property

Occasionally the Council will need to consider more robust and long-term solution to a nuisance empty property. In certain circumstances the Council can look at:

  • Enforced sales process - Under the Law of Property Act 1925, the council brings about the sale of a privately owned house that has incurred debts towards the council.
  • Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) were introduced under the Housing Act 2004. The local authority applies to take over the management of the property, carrying out works if required and then renting out the property.
  • A compulsory purchase order is used as a last resort where all other routes have failed. It allows local authorities the power to take over land, houses or other properties to increase the number of houses available or improve the quality of the housing stock. The main uses of this power are to obtain land for housing. This includes bringing empty properties back into use as homes and improving substandard ones.