Empty Homes

Private owners are responsible for private houses

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 reiterates that the owner of a property is responsible for maintaining, repairing and improving private houses, and paying for works required; irrespective of their age, income or any other mitigating factors.

However, we recognise that there are particular challenges of sub-standard housing in Moray, particularly with regard to long term empty homes.

We will help owners of empty properties to help bring them back into use. 

We offer other services to help you renovate your property.  We can support owners to identify and prioritise works, signpost you to suitable discounts off materials and VAT costs and talk you through options that you perhaps hadn’t considered or didn’t think were relevant to your project.  

The Moray Council’s Empty Homes Officer can provide a range advice and assistance to owners on the options available to them to bring their property back into use. This information can include:

  • Financial Assistance;
  • Property Condition and improvement;
  • Legal Guidance;
  • Renting out your property;
  • Selling your property.
  • Interest free loans to bring a property back into use at affordable rates

If in any doubt about how to proceed with your project, please contact the Moray Council’s Empty Homes Officer on 0300 1234566 to discuss how we might be able to help you.

Housing Standards

There are various Housing Standards that apply to private and social sector homes dependent on their use:

  • The Tolerable Standard;
  • Sub-standard Houses;
  • Amenity;
  • The Repairing Standard;
  • The Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS).

For works undertaken to bring an empty property back into use it must meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), where reasonably practical, which means the property must:

  1. be Compliant with the Tolerable Standard;
  2. be Free From Serious Disrepair;
  3. be Energy Efficient;
  4. have Modern Facilities and Services;
  5. be Healthy, Safe and Secure.

The SHQS is a set of five broad housing criteria which consist of 55 elements and nine sub-elements. A summary or a full explanation of these standards can be found on the Scottish Governments website. 

You can get more information about assistance by emailing our Empty Homes Officer.

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