The new statutory power Empty Dwelling Management Orders will be available for local authorities to use to return empty homes to use in a mere two weeks. Judging by my mailbox quite a number of them feel unprepared and… how shall I put it? Unsupported by government. Well don’t worry. It’ll be all right. Here are six reasons not to panic:
1. EDMOs are a discretionary power. This means that local authorities are under no obligation to use them, but they are available should the local authority decide it’s the best course of action to deal with a particular empty property.
2. There is no presumption by government that EDMOs are the best way for local authorities to return empty homes to use. All the existing powers and methods of returning empty homes to use will remain and I would hope that local authorities use a wide range of them applying each on a case by case basis.
3. The regulations come into force on 6th April, but there is a 3 month introductory period meaning local authorities will not be able to apply for an EDMO until July this year.
4. Government will shortly be publishing official guidance on the use of EDMOs.
5. There will be training provided for local authorities on empty property strategies explaining the options available to them and where EDMOs fit within the options
6.There will be a guidance booklet published to support this training.