What is an empty home?

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6. Compulsory Purchase Orders

As long as there is a proven housing need within the area, Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) can be used where owners refuse to take action to bring a property back into use, where an owner cannot be traced or where a property has been empty for a long time and is causing a nuisance or is a danger to the public.

CPOs are a lengthy process but have been proven to be effective and are usually structured along the following lines:

  • formulation - proposal and negotiations are carried out to see if a CPO is justified
  • resolution - the local council decides to serve the order
  • order - the CPO is submitted to local government and the Secretary of State
  • objections - the owner and local residents have a chance to object
  • inquiry - if it is needed, there is a public inquiry
  • decision - the order is confirmed
  • possession - this usually takes a minimum of 3 months
  • compensation - the owner is compensated for the loss of the property where appropriate (although this is not always the case)

What happens to a CPO property?

All properties which have had a CPO served on them will be sold on via a preferred purchaser or by auction and monitored to ensure they are brought back into use.