Manchester City Council

Homes & property Empty properties

Empty property problems

An empty property can be a target for criminals and antisocial behaviour, and can have a negative effect on the local community.

Empty properties deteriorate faster than occupied homes and can reduce the value of neighbouring properties.

An owner of an empty property has to keep it to a minimum standard by law: it must be safe, secure, and free from things that the cause pests.

What you can do

If you think it's being used for criminal activity contact Greater Manchester Police on 101.

What we can do

If a property doesn't meet the minimum standards we can identify the owner and tell them to put things right.

If they don't respond, we can do the work and give the owner the bill. 

We can also:

  • help an owner sell an unwanted property;
  • arrange with a not-for-profit landlord (like a housing association) to buy it. The landlord will do the work and rent it out to a new tenant;
  • take over the management of the property, and rent it out to tenants for seven years. The owner only gets income from the rent after we recover our costs; or
  • make a compulsory purchase. A run-down property can cause such severe problems that it's 'blighting' an area. If the owner won't do anything, we can use legal powers to buy it from them and deal with it.

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