Empty homes

What is the Empty Homes Initiative doing to increase the number of available homes?

The council is committed to reducing the amount of empty homes in the district to increase the number of homes available, and to improve the local area. More information can be found in our Empty Homes Plan 2020-23

Report an empty home to us

If you know of an empty home near you, let us know about it.  If you are the owner of an empty home and would like our help, please tell us.

Watch our video explaining how to get in touch.

  • Email us at empty.homes@thanet.gov.uk with the address and details of the owner if you know who they are.
  • Phone the Empty Homes Team direct on 01843 577059.

How we can help

There are a number of ways that this initiative can help owners and prospective purchasers of empty homes  We can offer interest-free loans to landlords, owners and developers toward renovation costs.

Working in partnership with Kent County Council, these interest free loans are available through the No Use Empty scheme.  Loans of up to £25,000 are available for anyone wishing to renovate a property that has been empty for six months or more.  Find out more information on the No Use Empty web site. 

The ‘Owner Occupier Loan’ initiative has been developed by Thanet District Council in partnership with Kent County Council’s No Use Empty Team to offer an interest free loan of up to a maximum of £20,000 to individual(s) who have purchased an empty home (which has been empty for more than six months), within the Wards of Margate Central and Cliftonville West and wish to obtain a loan to assist with their refurbishment costs.  The property will need to be occupied by them on completion of works for a minimum of five years.

If you feel that you could benefit from either of these Schemes, or want to know more, please contact the Empty Homes Team on 01843 577059.

Finding an empty home

Please note that we do not publish lists of empty homes in the district.  Our decision follows a High Court case involving the Information Commissioner and a London Borough Council. Briefly, it was ruled inappropriate to provide such a list owing to data protection issues for the owners and concerns raised by the Police in making such information widely available could result in empty properties being targeted by vandals/thieves.

Local estate agents will be able to help prospective purchasers.

What else is the council doing?

The council is targeting resources into bringing back empty homes into use itself.  Through the ‘Live Margate’ regeneration programme, the council is converting empty property into high quality family units.

Enforcement action

Where negotiations with an owner have been exhausted, the Authority has powers to take enforcement action against an owner to carry out repair works. As an absolute last resort, a Compulsory Purchase Order could be made, particularly if the property has fallen into serious disrepair.


The council itself is targeting specific areas within Margate town centre, Cliftonville and Ramsgate town centre to tackle problem properties that have been empty for some time.  We have been acquiring problem properties, renovating them and creating affordable family housing.  We continue to work in partnership with Kent County Council, the Homes and Homes and Communities Agency and others under the Live Margate umbrella.


This property had been empty and in a state of disrepair for several years.  Works began in 2013 to enlarge the ground floor accommodation and convert the property into two maisonettes and one flat.  With assistance from a loan from No Use Empty, the owner carried out the renovation, doing much of the work himself.

Front of the building before renovation   Front of the building after renovation  View of the front room before and after renovation


This small terraced property had been empty for a year, and was in a state of disrepair.  Purchased in 2014, the new owner has fully refurbished the house with the help of a No Use Empty loan, and brought it back into use.

House before renovation started  House once renovation completed  Kitchen before renovation  Kitchen after renovation


This large property has been abandoned for nearly twenty years and was in advanced state of disrepair. Formal notice was served on the owners under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The council carried out works in default at public expense when the owners failed to comply with the notice. As there was no prospect of the owners taking action or repaying the expenses incurred, the council decided to enforce the sale of the property to recoup this debt and change ownership.

The new owner completed a comprehensive renovation of the property and converted it into seven modern 1 and 2 bed flats of good quality, the last of which became occupied in 2019.


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