Charlie,The situation in the UK is a proposal at this stage,…
Untrue I’m afraid Gary.
The Empty Dwelling Management Order was introduced on 6th July 2006 as an amendment to the 2004 Housing Act.
….and relates only to properties that have been abandoned,…
Councils already have strong powers to deal with properties which represent ‘a hazard’ through Compulsory Purchase Orders.
The EDMO extends that power to seize properties that are not necessarily in a state of disrepair.
The EDMO introduces the concept that property should be used and if it isn’t the local authority has a say in bringing it back into use. Owners will have to justify what they intend to do with an empty property after a relatively short time.
Many properties will be exempt, for example those where someone has gone ‘temporarily’ abroad or is in hospital; where it’s a holiday home, or within six months of probate being granted where the home owner has died. If none of these exemptions apply and the tribunal rules in favour of the council, it could take control of the property for seven years.
Henry Stuart, head of property at the City law firm Withers, said these new powers represent a significant change in the law:
“It introduces the concept that property should be used and if it isn’t that the local authority has a say in bringing it back into use. That is a new departure.”
The point of my original post on this subject was purely in reply to your comment “can you imagine the outcry if the authorities in the UK had systematically robbed peoples homes…” and I was just pointing out that it is in fact happening in the UK. The Government acknowledges that they expect approx. 1000 homes per year will be seized via the EDMO. And of course that is if certain local councils don’t get over-zealous with their new powers. The reality figure-wise remains to be seen.
Of course it is different from the ‘Land Grab’ situation, but the principal that a Government can forcibly take your property from you is the same.