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Empty Dwelling Management Orders

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Sorry to interrupt the stream of speculation concerning the contents of central bank officials minds and how they may or may not affect the worlds financial system. I thought the board may appreciate a housing story.

My "inspiration" for the following is the rather sensationalist Daily Express front page splurge : "Now They can Steal Out Homes"

I have read the article in its entirety and notice both spin and inaccuracy, as is par for the course with such a rag (they also claim in the same issue that boobs are getting bigger because of "simple evolution").

I have consequently sought the origins of the (scare-like) story. The board WILL find this interesting, especially the more militant types who are looking for an angle (phone up your local authority and get EDMOs slapped on all those houses that have been overpriced and sat on the shelf for far too long).

Origin of the Pieces

The Express draws its story from the material posted on the Department for Communities & Local Government (formerly the ODPM before Prescott got sacked) yesterday, concerning ammendments to The Housing Act 2004.

In particular, one such ammendment concerns rulings "designed" to bring empty housing back into use. I use the inverted commas because the way they have gone about it is cack handed.

The legal tool being employed to bring about these changes is the so-called Empty Dwelling Management Order, or EDMO.

In essense, this will allow a council to seize properties vacant for more than 6 months, or as the DCLG put it:

The Housing Act 2004 provides a new discretionary power for local authorities to take over the management of long-term privately owned empty homes

Previously (briefly) discussed here : http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...nagement+Orders

You will find factsheets concerning EDMOs on the DCLG site here. Here's a snippet:


1. The Housing Act 2004 contains provisions about the occupation of privately owned empty homes. The device for securing occupation of empty homes is known as an Empty Dwelling Management Order. Once the legislation has been commenced, an Empty Dwelling Management Order would enable a Local Housing Authority, in certain circumstances, to take management control of a dwelling in order to secure occupation of it.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders

3. An Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) allows a Local Housing Authority (LHA) to effectively 'step into the shoes' of the owner of an unoccupied dwelling. There are two types of order - interim EDMO and final EDMO. They allow a LHA to secure occupation and proper management of privately owned houses and flats that have been unoccupied for a specified period of time and where certain other conditions are met.

Effect on Ownership Rights

5. When an EDMO is in force, the LHA takes over most of the rights and responsibilities of the relevant proprietor and may exercise them as if it were the relevant proprietor. For example, it has the right to possession of the dwelling whilst the order is in force. However, it does not become the legal owner of it and hence cannot sell the property or take out a mortgage on it.

6. A relevant proprietor is not entitled to receive any rent or other payments from anyone occupying the dwelling and may not exercise any rights to manage the dwelling whilst an EDMO is in force. However, the relevant proprietor retains their right to dispose of their interest in the dwelling.

Any views chaps and chapesses?

Edited by Sledgehead

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Even though I don't own a house I may do one day so this kind of power given to local councils just makes me very uncomfortable. The other day I saw on my local news the case of a 77 year old man who had consistently refused to pay his council tax in protest. The council (Lancashire I think) had the power and were about to bankrupt him and take possession of his house. The council spokeswoman showed no remorse or pity.

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