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Empty Dwelling Management Orders

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether his Department has provided guidance to local authorities on the circumstances in which empty dwelling management orders may be issued in respect of an empty dwelling which is being marketed for sale; (308425)

(2) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Jackson) of 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 488W, on empty dwelling management orders, which local authorities have received individual guidance provided by his officials in the last 12 months.

The Department has not issued separate guidance on empty dwellings which are being marketed for sale but supports the guidance on empty dwelling management orders which was launched by the independent Empty Homes Agency on 10 March 2009.

The Department hosted an empty homes seminar for a number of local authorities on 23 April 2009 to provide an opportunity to discuss the obstacles facing authorities in dealing with empty homes, share examples of best practice, and encourage them to take action to tackle empty homes in their area. The following individual local authorities were represented at the meeting:

Birmingham City Council

East Cambridgeshire District Council

Exeter City Council

Gloucester City Council

Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Kent County Council

Manchester City Council

Mansfield District Council

Reading Borough Council

Sheffield District Council

Warwick Borough Council

West Lindsey District Council,

as well as the West London Housing Partnership, representing seven London boroughs, and the Herts, Beds, Bucks Empty Homes Forum, representing 24 local authorities. A further eight local authorities were invited but were unable to attend. Local authorities contact my officials on an ad hoc basis for which we do not keep records and they can also access information about empty homes on the Department’s website.