Measures being put in place to tackle the length of time council properties remain empty across the Warwick district

At the meeting this week, councillors heard that the average re-let time for properties had doubled from just over 70 days from quarter three in 20/21 to over 140 days in quarter four in 21/22.

Measures are being put in place to tackle the length of time Warwick District Council properties remain empty. Stock Image
Measures are being put in place to tackle the length of time Warwick District Council properties remain empty. Stock Image

Measures are being put in place to tackle the length of time Warwick District Council properties remain empty with the councillor responsible admitting they were unacceptable.

Cllr Kate Dickson (Lib Dem, Kenilworth St Johns) raised the matter during question time at Warwick District Council’s full council meeting on Wednesday (July 27).

She asked: “The average re-let time for WDC housing has steadily increased from just over 70 days from quarter three in 20/21 to over 140 days in quarter four in 21/22.

"What measures are being used to address this delay in the use of our housing stock which is causing disruption to our residents and customers and resulting in a loss of rental income and reputational damage to the council?”

Cllr Jan Matecki (Con, Budbrooke), the councillor responsible for these issues, said he was aware of the issue and was looking at ways to reduce the delays.

He said: “This is a situation which I’ve actually had an eye on for quite a while.

"The situation has arisen due to a number of factors including cost rises, skill and material shortages and contractor availability.

“On the positive side, we have taken on a number of new homes which have been put on to the system in preparation for letting.

"However, the properties are not yet ready so are contributing to the figures. In addition there are a number of voids requiring major works including to decarbonise and these adversely affecting the figures.

“Plans are in place and include negotiating for additional operative resources which are now in place and we have engaged in additional cleaning to ensure properties are of a good standard for tenants to move in.

“I would add that we have to be careful with average figures because we only need a few that have been on for a long time and it skews the numbers but the figures are certainly unacceptable and should be a lot shorter.”