Empty homes

A lot of properties are empty for reasons which cannot be avoided. We know that renovations and sales take time, or that owners may have long term plans for their home. However, leaving a property empty can mean:

  • Council tax with a 50 per cent premium payable after two years
  • Higher insurance
  • Increased security (for example, boarding up)
  • Ongoing maintenance costs
  • Anti-social behaviour (with potential for fire, vandalism or flytipping)

Bringing the property back into use saves these costs and could provide thousands of pounds per year in rent or a lump sum through sale.

We provide advice for owners, helping them through the range of options and support available.

If you know about a privately owned property which has been empty for a long time please let us know at Housing.Options@Cherwell-DC.gov.uk


We encourage owners to work with us to bring their property back into use. If an owner won’t work with us and isn't trying to bring a property back into use, we may consider enforcement action. Enforcement actions which can be used are

  • Formal notices to make a property safe, secure or tidy
  • Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO)
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO)
  • Enforced Sale