Monday, June 19, 2006

Burying Bad News?

I had been wondering how I was going to make a link between the World Cup and empty homes. I need wonder no longer; the Conservative party have done it for me. Their press release over the weekend spawned a number of articles in the weekend press. The most entertaining although least accurate was this in the Daily Mail. To be fair to the Mail most of the errors about EDMOs were from the press release. So for accuracy’s sake I thought I ought to point them out.

The Order seizing the property can last for up to seven years. – True

The home does not have to be run down or uninhabitable to be seized, merely empty for six months. –true
Labour previously claimed they would only be used for blighted properties. Possibly true

Homes of the recently deceased can be confiscated, even if inheritance issues are not yet finalised. This could be within as little as six months of the death of the owner. -Untrue inherited properties are exempt from the orders for 6 months after probate has been resolved

The state collective taking over the property can house any type of tenant in the building without the consent of the owner, including those with a record of anti-social behaviour. - True

They are not obliged to obtain a market rent, but can still deduct all their running costs from the rent; owners are therefore likely to receive little compensation back. Untrue- If local authorities charge a below market rent they must compensate the owner with the difference between the rent they charge and the market rent

Tenants in the home will still have contractual and legal rights of occupancy, making it more difficult to return the property to the owner if the Order is revoked. Untrue

The new rules will not apply to empty homes or properties owned by incompetent or inefficient public sector bodies, nor empty ministerial residences like Dorneywood. - True

I’m not sure about burying bad news. I don’t know about you but I wasn’t exactly in such a head spin of delirium that I couldn’t listen to the news after last Thursday's match. May be it will get better.


  1. You are being very gentle on the Tories. They are being totally oppurtunistic on empty homes. They know they are telling lies about EDMOs but they don't care. Look at the emailed comments on the Daily Mail website the Tories must just love the reaction they get.

  2. Dear Martin,
    I try to stay non-partisan on this blog. All parties have done and said things which have been helpful in getting empty homes back into use. And all have done things which are less helpfull. I think this is a pretty crumby press release (they even got the date of the England match wrong!)but nonetheless they were supportive of these measures when they went through parliment and when in power they introduced PRODS. So credit where credit is due

  3. what did the press release say?

    it nevertheless is really shoddy journalism to be just regurgitating a press release without checking facts but predictable coming from the daily mail.

  4. Dear Andrew, the press release is linked from this post and in fact today's post. As you will see it wasnt just the Daily Mail.