Housing Training and Consultancy Ltd

Empty Homes Training

There are enough empty properties in England & Wales to provide homes for over one million people.  At a time of increasing overcrowding and acute housing need, bringing empty homes back into use must be a priority for local authorities.  The introduction of the New Homes Bonus adds a financial incentive in a difficult financial climate. Andrew Lavender has been Project Consultant to the Kent Empty Property Initiative since its inception in 2005, a project which has now brought 4,445 long term empty properties back into use to benefit households seeking decent housing.  

He has undertaken a review on behalf of the Welsh Government on how local authorities in Wales are tackling empty homes and to provide guidance on implementation of an Empty Property Initiative for Wales. Andrew has since been appointed by the Welsh Local Government Association to support the Welsh Government and the twenty two Local Authorities in developing and implementing the Welsh Empty Property Initiative “House into Homes” & “Home Improvement Scheme”. Andrew is a nationally recognised authority on this area of work not least for his innovative and determined use of enforcement procedures and regularly speaks at national conferences as well as delivering many training courses. Lavender & Wilson offer a range of Empty Homes courses covering the following:

  • Information and investigation (council tax data, tracing ownership, investigation and entering properties)
  • Enforcement powers (Planning Act, Building Act, Environmental Protection Act, Housing Act, miscellaneous statutory provisions)
  • Compulsory Purchase and Empty Dwelling Management Orders
  • Enforced sale procedure and works in default
  • Voluntary options and negotiation
  • Putting it all together – the best option
  • Financial aspects of empty homes – including the New Home Bonus

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Your empty homes strategy

As with our other courses, empty homes training can be tailored to suit the specific needs of your organisation.   This is a complex area and course duration has varied from one day to six days to suit the specific requirements of individual clients.

We also offer empty homes consultancy – your organisation can benefit from the knowledge and experienced gained during 10 years of proven success in bringing empty homes back into use. Often a limited level of support can pay dividends in increased performance, help develop a corporate approach and being able to deal with those problematic properties where a lack of resources or complexity are put forward as a reason not to do anything. With the right guidance, there is no empty property that cannot be resolved.