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Aims and objectives of the policy

Part of the empty homes policy for Torbay.

Although a long-term empty home is defined by Government as 'an unoccupied, unfurnished property for a period of six months or more', the aim of this policy is to prioritise action toward the number of properties that remain empty for over 2 years. However, we will seek to discourage owners from leaving properties empty at an earlier date, by targeting communication and seeking the introduction of Council Tax premiums from an earlier date of one year.

This ensures the effective use of the housing stock in Torbay, supporting the Housing Strategy and the desire of residents that the ‘Council should get involved in bringing empty homes back into use’, maximising the best use of homes.

The objectives of empty homes policy are as follows:

  1. Where appropriate, offer assistance to help bring homes back into use
  2. Adopt a targeted methodology, prioritising work to bringing empty homes back into use
  3. Adopt a proactive approach towards long-term empty homes, taking enforcement action where necessary

This policy does not affect the Council’s statutory obligations and duties. For the avoidance of doubt the Council will continue to act where appropriate and necessary to fulfil its statutory functions, for example in relation to statutory nuisance, dangerous structures, or Council Tax levies.

Meeting our aims and objectives