Empty properties

Empty Properties are a wasted resource which could be used for much needed homes. They can be an eyesore or cause other problems.

Cornwall has a high housing need, and the market faces many pressures. In addition to planning for new housing development the Council is working to bring empty properties back into residential use, to help meet housing requirements and raise housing standards.

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The Council offers a range of assistance for owners of empty properties, whether empty existing properties or empty non-residential properties to be converted into new homes, including:

  • Low cost loans
  • Access to leasing schemes
  • VAT reduction/refund evidence
  • Free Pre-application planning advice
  • Other advice about bringing empty properties back into habitable use.

Download our Help for Empty Properties, Empty Property Loan and VAT Savings leaflets, or contact us for more information on the help available and how to access it. 

Cornwall Council has an established Empty Homes Team which has helped bring hundreds of empty properties back into habitable use.

We prefer to communicate and engage with owners of long term empty properties to encourage, assist and enable them to bring their properties back into habitable use through voluntary cooperation.

However, should cooperation not be forthcoming, and owners do not demonstrate reasonable plans and timescales for bringing properties back into use the Council may, where appropriate, intervene and use relevant enforcement powers to ensure a satisfactory resolution, e.g. improvement in the condition and re-use of the properties.

For further information about help available, or to report an empty property, please contact the Empty Homes Team.