Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Prescott's Parting Gift

From the Telegraph (hat-tip to An Englishman's Castle):
Local councils will have the power to seize furniture and fixtures and fittings when they take over empty homes according to new rules published by the Government yesterday.
Public sector properties are exempt (naturally) but private homes and their contents can be taken over by local government and used for seven years if the properties have been empty for more than six months. Even homes of the recently deceased can be seized (after probate), as can those which are up for sale. Councils will have forcible powers of entry, and they can put any scumball in the property with no obligation to obtain a market rent. Owners could even be charged and billed for having their property seized.

This government press release states that the Empty Dwelling Mangement Orders have been drawn up with the help of the Empty Homes Agency. Its website has a press briefing dated July 2006 called Myth Busting EDMOs (WordPad doc), but nearly all of it is crossed out. Even the EMA doesn’t seem to know what’s fact and myth any more. It hardly inspires confidence.

2 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Dear DFH, There are no crossings out on our myth busting leaflet and there is no confusion at the Empty Homes Agency. We do keep having to add to the leaflet because new myths keep appearing every day. To answer just two of yours

Council’s do have to obtain a market rent for the property. If they let it at below market rent they have to compensate the owner with the difference.

And there are only two circumstances in which owners can be charged. If they want to sell the property before the end of the management order term (and there is still outstanding debt) or if there is any outstanding service charges (in the caese of leasehold property) and there are still outstanding debts. In every other case there will be no cost to the owner and in most cases the owner will recieve a surplus.

9:34 am  
Blogger DFH said...

Dear David

There are no crossings out on our myth busting leaflet and there is no confusion at the Empty Homes Agency

Well, when I open that document only the first two and most of the third myths have no crossings out. The last line of myth 3 and everything else is scored through. Here’s a screencap.

...there is no confusion at the Empty Homes Agency. We do keep having to add to the leaflet because new myths keep appearing every day. To answer just two of yours

Council’s do have to obtain a market rent for the property. If they let it at below market rent they have to compensate the owner with the difference.


So they don’t have to obtain a market rent, then. The taxpayer can make up the shortfall.

And there are only two circumstances in which owners can be charged. If they want to sell the property before the end of the management order term (and there is still outstanding debt) or if there is any outstanding service charges (in the caese of leasehold property) and there are still outstanding debts

Like I said - “Owners could even be charged and billed for having their property seized.”

4:20 pm  

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