Council campaign to bring life back into empty properties in Northumberland

Coun Allan Hepple

Coun Allan Hepple

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Northumberland County Council is launching a campaign to bring vacant properties back into use and help ease the county’s housing shortage.

The authority is reaching out to owners of empty homes and offering assistance to bring them back onto the rental market with various incentive schemes.

The council is offering free advertising on the Northumberland Homefinder website to match properties up with prospective tenants. It will also carry out reference checks on potential tenants and may assist with a bond.

Free property inspections are also being offered as well as financial assistance with safety certificates, as part of the council’s accreditation scheme to ensure the houses meet certain standards.

County councillor Allan Hepple, cabinet member responsible for housing, said: "Empty homes are a wasted resource particularly with the current shortage of affordable housing in Northumberland. They are also a magnet for vandalism, crime and anti-social behaviour. It makes sense to do all that we can to bring these valuable assets back into use. An empty property could be a home for a family needing somewhere to live.

"A large number of owners will already have plans for the future of their property but others may need a helping hand, and this is where the council can offer advice, support and information to owners, tenants and landlords."

For further information, or to tell the council about an empty property, call 0345 600 6400 or email privatesectorhousing@northumberland.gov.uk