How to find an empty property
If you are interested in finding an empty property to buy and develop (either for your own use or to rent out, develop or sell) the following information is designed to help you:
Your local estate agent should be your first port of call. They might not have photographs of empty properties in their shop window, but that does not mean that they have not got some for sale. Register your interest with them.
Auction catalogues are also a good place to find empty properties that are for sale, especially if you are a cash buyer. If you want to find out the dates and locations of future auctions in your local area, please visit:
The following websites specialise in empty properties:
How to find an empty home and reporting empty homes
You can report an empty home directly to the Council or through the charity Empty Homes. Empty Homes is an independent charity, which campaigns to highlight the waste of empty property in England and works with others to work out and promote solutions to bring empty property back into use. They can also give you advice and ideas on bringing empty homes back to use.
If you have a particular area where you are looking for an empty home, we suggest walking through that area and making a note of any addresses that appear genuinely empty to you. You can also contact local Estate Agents, Auction houses and Property websites.
When you have identified possible addresses, report them to us to see how we can help. We are happy to work through a list of properties and see if we have non-Data-protected information that we can provide. We can also write to owners direct (where we have their contact information) with your details or forward a letter on your behalf.
Building land for sale
More often than not building land already has a house on it. Often the house needs demolishing (knocking down) but sometimes it can be saved and rebuilt.
You can check if the property has been removed from Council Tax listings on the Valuation Office Agency website, which will indicate if the property is beyond repair.
You could also try:
We hold a record of interested people who are actively looking for property to buy and develop. Selling their empty property is one of the options we encourage owners to do. If they are interested in selling, the list of potential developers would be given to them.
To be added to this list please complete this form:
When you have identified a possible empty property, call or e-mail us to see how we can help. We are happy to see if we have non-Data-protected information that we can provide. We can also write to owners directly (where we have their contact information) with your details or forward a letter on your behalf.
You can do a Land Registry search which may reveal the legal owner, although some properties are not registered and others may be out of date and show the owner as living at the address.
You can also check the register of planning applications. When a planning application has been made the owner's details (or an agent acting for them) is shown and this information is available to the public. Sometimes this may also give an indication as to why a property has remained empty, for example if the planning request has been refused and an appeal has been lodged.
To view these details please see planning applications.
It may also be worth writing a polite note and putting it through the door of the property itself - some owners regularly visit their property even if they leave it empty. Do be aware though that some properties which appear empty may actually be occupied, even though they are in poor condition. If in doubt, please check with us first, and remember these properties are privately owned so the owners may choose not to sell.
Contact Empty Property - Environmental Health
Adur & Worthing Councils,
44 Richmond Road,