As part of our campaign to tackle empty properties, we’ve launched a survey to ask for your views on empty homes, whether you’re a local resident, or an owner having issues bringing a property back into use.

As a Council, we are looking to connect with owners, or landlords who can let their homes to a family at risk of homelessness, and there is a range of incentives and support available to ensure smooth tenancies.

See our webpages and take the survey.

Owners of empty properties in Torbay are being urged to bring those properties back into use to help address the housing crisis.

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “One of the key priorities of Torbay’s Housing Strategy is to ‘make the best use of existing housing’ and to bring much needed empty homes back into use. Whilst the Council does work with owners of empty homes, we are renewing our efforts to make sure that these wasted assets become homes to families who need them.”

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said: “Both the Local Plan and Housing Strategy went out for public consultation at the end of 2022, setting out different options for how Torbay can meet housing targets, whilst protecting the environment. Over a quarter of responses said that the Council should tackle empty homes before thinking of developing on green field sites.”

Case study: Torquay empty home brought back into use

In the Summer of 2022 Housing Standards Officers got in touch with the owner of a former commercial property in Torre that was receiving complaints. The run-down property had been vacant for several years and was subject to complaints. Over several months officers worked with the owner to discuss options, finally securing a sale by auction to a local developer, via Betteworths Property Agents.

This was a win for the developer, who renovated the property, the owner who was able to realise cash from a wasted asset and invest elsewhere, the Council who saw a new home provided, and complaints abate and for the local community who now have homes for local people, with no run-down property.

Paul Bettesworth (agent), said: “We specialise in working with owners who see derelict properties as a problem, rather than an opportunity, absorbing not just the marketing and sale, but also organising the clearance, security and any vital repairs needed to get the property sold. Dealing with long term unoccupied properties can seem troublesome to new owners, however, with the right support we can always find a buyer who can transform a potential problem into a family home.”

If you want to report an empty home, or are an owner stuck for ideas, please see our webpages and take the survey.

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