[Department ] [Local auth ority] [Address

]

[Name of empty property owner ] [Address]

[Date] Your reference Our reference

Dear [relevant proprietor¶s name ], Re: [address of property] Further to our rece nt visits to your property in order to try and reach a solution to the problem of this long -term empty property. I confirm that the Housing Health and Safety Rating inspection carried out on the property found (number) Category one Hazards and ( number ) Category two hazards in the property. The authority has a duty to take action to ensure that all category one hazards are removed or reduced to an acceptable level and can take action on category two hazards. There are several voluntary options that can be taken by you to remedy these defects and ensure the property is brought back into use, those being as follows: To sell the property, either on the open market or to a developer. This would be a satisfactory course of action provided you market the proper ty at a realistic price and that any sale was allowed to go through within a reasonable amount of time. The average time from offer to completion is about 16 weeks, and this would be deemed reasonable. To participate in the Authorities Private Sector Lea sing Scheme, whereby the authority would give you a grant for 50% of the cost of the remedial work, identified under the HHSRS inspection as rated F or higher. The remaining 50% of the cost could either be borne by yourself, in which case you would sign u p to the leasing scheme for a period of three years, or, it could be collected from the rental income and the property signed up to the scheme for five years. The Authority would have exclusive use of the property for social housing during this period wit h a guaranteed rent being paid to you each month (less instalments of your 50% contribution). To fund the works yourself. If you wish to take this option you must, within the next 14 days, provide me with confirmation of the works you intend to undertake , full details of all contractors you will be using including dates they will be carrying out their work and confirmation that you have the necessary funds to complete the work, i.e. copy bank statement, loan agreement etc. Please note that lengthy timesca les are unacceptable and a reasonable completion time for this particular property is (no months).

If we do not receive confirmation of the above within 14 days we will be left with no alternative but to take enforcement action to ensure this long term em pty property does not continue to remain unused. The options available to us are: To serve an improvement notice to remove/reduce all category one and two hazards from the property. Notices issued will incur a charge of [£ amount ], along with charges for officer input. The notices will detail the date when work has to start and when it needs to be finished by. All works will be required to meet our standards. Notices have an appeal procedure which will be detailed on the notice. If the notice is not complied with, or appealed within the given timescales then the authority will arrange for the work to be carried out in default. We could then apply to the court to enforce the sale of the property to recovery the authority¶s costs. Alternatively, the au thority may apply to the Residential Property Tribunal for authority to make an Empty Dwelling Management Order. This would allow the authority to take over the management of your property, carry out any necessary repairs and then use the property as soci al housing for a period of up to seven years. The rental income from the property being used to repay the repair costs, authority charges and management costs, with any surplus being returned to you. The Housing Act 2004 Section 134(2) details prescribed exemptions which apply to some properties, those being: (a) dwellings which have been occupied solely or principally by the relevant proprietor who is at the material time temporarily resident elsewhere; (b) dwellings that are holiday homes or that are otherwise occupied by the relevant proprietor or his guests on a temporary basis from time to time; (c) dwellings undergoing repairs or renovation; (d) dwellings in respect of which an application for planning permission or building control approval is o utstanding; (e) dwellings which are genuinely on the market for sale or letting; (f) dwellings where the relevant proprietor has died not more than the prescribed number of months before the material time (6 months). If you consider that any of the pres cribed exemptions apply to your property then you must advise me in writing which ones and why you feel they apply within the next 14 days. I trust the above information is self explanatory but should require further clarification please do not hesitate t o contact me. Yours sincerely,

[Officer¶s name ] Empty Homes Officer

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