The story started with a Conservative party press release last Friday about Empty Dwellings Management Orders, it was published as a story in the Saturday versions of the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the BBC’s website, picked up by Wales on Sunday each time getting further from the truth. By the time that it ended up on the American news website Free Market News yesterday the story had become
”while the nation's attention is focused on England's fortunes in World Cup soccer, the government has allegedly made plans to seize a number of recently deceased citizens' homes before their heirs can claim them”
It would have been a good story unfortunately it is not true. Empty Dwellings Management orders, which become fully operational in July, give local authorities powers to take management control of long-term empty homes. There are a number of exemptions and special provisions limiting the power. Amongst them is a provision relating to properties that are empty because the owner has died. This provision means that the local authority will not be able to use the power while probate is being resolved and for a further 6 months after probate is complete.