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MP welcomes council action on empty homes

July 19, 2011 10:13 AM

Tim Farron MP with SLDC Empty Homes Officer Lynne GilbertsonLocal MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that South Lakeland District Council has completed the process on its first empty dwelling management order - bringing an empty and derelict property in Kendal back into use.

SLDC has been granted the empty dwelling management order (EDMO) for the property at a time that only 40 EDMOs have been granted in the UK. The council will now renovate the property and let it to a local family in housing need through South Lakes Housing.

The period of a 'final EDMO' is 7 years. South Lakes Housing will manage the property on the district council's behalf, although the owner remains the owner throughout the 7 years.

Works have begun this week on the property, to the neighbours' delight. Once it has been brought up to a suitable letting standard, South Lakes Housing will provide tenants for the 2-bedroom property. All costs will be covered by rental income, with any surplus income returned to the owner at the end of the 7 years. This was an empty home which had previously been vandalised and had caused various infestations to the attached semi. It has also attracted many complaints from the community and neighbours.

Last year, Tim launched a campaign with the Lib Dem-run South Lakeland District Council which aims to bring some of the estimated 1,000 empty properties in the South Lakes back in to use.

Tim said: "When I heard that the council had taken over its first empty property I was delighted. This is the first step towards helping provide a hard working local family a home. I recently went to see the property which is now being renovated and I hope it's only a matter of time before it can be offered out."