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Empty Properties

Requested on
Fri 23rd March, 2012
Reference
FOI 1830
Resolution
Information provided

Question

Under the 'Freedom of Information Act 2000' I hereby request that information held by Charnwood Borough Council relating to 'Empty Houses' within the local authority be released.

Please can you include:
The name and/or address and/or type (commercial/residential) of each council-owned/privately owned abandoned/empty/vacant building that has been empty for more than six months.
Contact details (if known) for the owner of each property
Estimated price of each property, should the council wish to sell.

Answer

Attached are two spreadsheets.

The Residential Empties Charnwood spreadsheet details all properties that have been empty for at least 6 months and that are recorded on our Council Tax system as authority or company owned.  Addresses for houses and flats in sheltered complexes have been grouped to protect those residents who maybe vulnerable.

Information relating to properties owned by individuals is exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) of the Act , we would therefore only be able to provide you with the details of those properties which are owned by the council and companies, not by individuals. See the following link for the decision by the Information Tribunal for further details:(http://www.informationtribunal.gov.uk/DBFiles/Decision/i146/ENgland.pdf
Section 40(2) of the Act covers personal data where the person requesting the information is not the data subject and disclosure of the information would breach one or more of the data protection principles in the Act. Personal data is defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 as data which relate to a living individual who can be identified-
(a) from those data, or
(b) from those data and other information which is in the possession of, or is likely to come into the possession of, the data controller.
This is an Absolute exemption, and therefore is not subject to a public interest test.

We do not record the current market value of the properties, but have included the council tax banding to give an indication of property type etc. 

The Empty Commercial properties spreadsheet shows all currently empty commercial properties.  Our Business rates system does not record the date when a property first became empty so we are unable to provide a list of all those properties that have only been empty for 6 months or over.  We do not record the owners of these properties only the ratepayers who may or may not be the owners, therefore this information has not been included.  Again we do not record the market value of the property so have included the Rateable Values of each property for your information.

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