The demand for council housing is high in Lewisham, so we quickly deal with anything that affects the availability of homes to new tenants.
The main causes for empty properties are where they have been abandoned or illegally occupied.
An abandoned property is where a tenant(s) has left their property without officially ending their tenancy. Lewisham Homes is often unaware that the property is empty. This results in a property sitting empty that could rehouse someone from the waiting list. Such properties can attract vandalism or squatters.
How does an abandoned property affect you?
- Abandoned Properties can make an estate unattractive for remaining tenants;
- Abandoned Properties can make an estate look run down and unappealing to potential tenants;
- The Council loses out on rent, which means less money for other services;
- There are people waiting to move into Council properties, you may know a person waiting.
What should you do?
Very often neighbours are the first to know and call us so we can investigate. If the tenant is not there, we can take action to regain possession of the property and let it to someone else. We will investigate all reports of abandonment and take action.
You can report any property you suspect of being abandoned to your local housing office.
Sometimes people move in to abandoned properties they should not be living in. This is called illegal occupation or squatting.
This includes situations where the original tenant has moved out and is sub-letting. This is not permitted under our Tenancy Agreement and we will seek to regain possession of our property.
If you are aware that a council property is being illegally occupied please contact your local housing office. Any information that you provide will be treated confidentially.