Empty properties

The council can use a variety of enforcement methods to reduce empty properties and bring them back into use.

In this section:
Reducing empty properties

Reducing empty properties

The council has a wide variety of powers to reduce nuisance from empty properties or bring empty properties back into use, however these powers are only used where no other option is possible and the property is becoming a nuisance to the local community.

Types of empty properties

There are 3 main types of empty property we deal with:

  1. Unsecured properties
    These are empty properties that are not secure so they can be broken into, vandalised or set on fire. Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous provisions) Act 1982, Section 29, we can order the owner to make the property secure or allow us to board it up/fence off the property in an emergency. 
  2. Severely overgrown gardens
    Where a property has a severely overgrown garden, the Prevention from Damage by Pests Act 1949 gives the council the authority to serve notice on the owner or occupier of the land to take reasonable steps to keep it free from rats and mice.
  3. Dangerous buildings or structures
    Under the Building Act 1984, we can order the owner to make property safe or allow us to take emergency action to make it safe.

Report problems caused by empty properties

Buying an empty property

If you are interested in buying an empty property in order to improve it, you should contact local estate agents or auctioneers who will be able to inform you about any development opportunities which are available.

Register online with Land Registry, to receive information on registered properties and land in the UK.

We do not have information on empty properties which are for sale, and we are unable to supply a list of properties owned by individuals.

If you own an empty property, you should let us know by emailing privatesectorhousing@hillingdon.gov.uk.

Page last updated: 20 Jul 2023