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Empty homes

In Wiltshire there are currently 700 homes that have been empty for more than six months. While that may sound relatively high, the figure only represents 0.32% of all residential dwellings in Wiltshire and many of those homes will be empty for reasons such as being subject to probate, undergoing refurbishment, owner currently in hospital/care home, or the owner simply does not wish to sell the property.  However, if you have concerns over the impact an empty property is having in your neighbourhood please refer to the relevant webpages for further details of the council's responsibilities.

If you know of an empty property in the County, particularly one that has been empty for a long time, use the My Wiltshire online reporting form or app.

Your report will be forwarded to the relevant team(s) to investigate and take action, where appropriate.


If you are an owner, you may decide that the best option is to sell your empty property.

If you wish to take this route the first step that you will need to take is to get your property valued. This can be done by:

  • A professional property surveyor - this is likely to provide the most accurate valuation;
  • An estate agent - this will be based on the prices of properties of similar sizes and types in the same area;
  • Estimating the value yourself - by looking at the prices that similar properties have sold for recently in the local area. However, there could be an increased risk of getting the valuation wrong with this method.

The valuation can then be used to set the asking price. You may need to be flexible over this though, as potential buyers may wish to try and negotiate on the price.

There are different methods of selling a property, which include:

  • Selling through an estate agent,
  • selling at an auction,
  • advertising the property yourself.

Selling a property involves a complex legal process. Once a sale has been agreed it is therefore advisable to seek advice from a legal professional, such as a solicitor or conveyancer to conduct the legal process of the sale.


With effect from 1 October 2016, a property that has been empty for two years or more on 1 October 2016 will be subject to an additional 50% levy on top of their normal council tax liability. From October 2016 the levy will be charged on the second anniversary of the property becoming empty.

For further information please view the council tax discounts page.


The Council aims to work with owners of empty properties to help them bring them back into use.

We can provide an owner with tenants and rental income through our WiltsLet Scheme.

Grants may be available, subject to funding, to help with repairs needed to make a property suitable for occupation, if the owner agrees to let the property to a tenant when those works are completed (certain conditions apply).

Please see the empty homes assistance factsheet, available below, for more information.

Due to financial constraints, the council is not currently taking any new enquiries for Empty Homes Grants.


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Last updated: 3 April 2019 | Last reviewed: 3 April 2019