Empty properties are a concern to us because they have the potential to negatively affect individuals, local communities and the city as a whole.
Our aim is to reduce the number of empty properties in Sheffield by enabling them to be brought back into use. We can provide advice to owners to help sell, let, lease or refurbish an empty property.
Locate the owner of an empty home
If you are interested in buying an empty property you will need to contact the current owner and negotiate a sale. To trace the owner of an empty you could:
- contact the owner – write a letter addressed to ‘The Owner’ and put it through the letterbox of the empty property – the owners do visit and collect the post periodically
- contact the Land Registry for the name and address of the registered owner (a charge of £3 applies)
- use telephone directories, the electoral register and family history websites - there may be a charge for these services
- talk to neighbours of the empty property as they often know useful information about the owner or their relatives
We may hold information on the owner but we are unable to release such information due to the Data Protection Act. However where we have a different address for the owner, other than the empty property address, we can forward a letter addressed to the owner on your behalf.
Empty Property Purchase and Repair Scheme
This scheme enables us to buy privately-owned empty properties that have been empty for at least 6 months to be refurbished and used as affordable council housing. Our focus is on family houses with 2 or more bedrooms, but we may also consider flats and maisonettes in Council-owned blocks. We are a chain-free cash buyer, which will normally make the process simpler and sometimes a little bit quicker.
We will consider properties in any state of repair as long as the sale price reflects the level of work required and it is within the price range we are able to afford. If the property is eligible for the scheme, we will carry out a property inspection to determine the level of improvement works required.
We ideally look for properties where there is high demand for affordable rented accommodation – it is likely that these will be areas where we already have housing stock. In most cases we will be looking at properties up to a maximum of around £90,000. Selling your property to us is no different from selling your property to a private buyer. Applying to sell your property does not prevent you from advertising it for sale with an estate agent. You are advised to seek independent legal advice and employ the services of an appropriate solicitor.
To apply for the scheme, please download and fill in the relevant questionnaire and return it to us.
Empty property matching service
If you are thinking of selling your empty property, you can advertise it on our website free of charge. Properties already advertised with an estate agent are still eligible for the service. The matching service is intended as an additional form of advertising and we request that you keep us informed about the progress of the sale so we can monitor the effectiveness of the service. We display, for free, basic property information on our website for properties that have been empty for 6 months or more, regardless of whether the property requires some form of repair work or is ready to move in to straight away. Buyers who register with us can request the contact details of sellers. Negotiations and sales are solely between the buyer and seller. Our role is to introduce sellers to prospective buyers and following that we will not have any involvement in the process.
Joining the service is free for both buyers and sellers. However, we strongly advise buyers and sellers to take independent professional legal advice before entering into any contract or other legally binding document.
We will keep your details safe and will only share your contact details with other registered users. There is no limit to the number of properties you can enquire about.
Please complete the relevant application form. You must sign the form, so you will need to print a copy of the form and fill it in, returning it to us by email or by post.