Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Empty homes loan fund

Empty home loans

We have secured a limited amount of funding from the Scottish Government to assist empty home owners to bring their property up to a lettable standard by providing an interest free loan if the property is let at a market rent for five years or sold at an affordable level.

Empty homes can be costly to both owners and the local community; the longer they are empty, the greater the waste and the harder it can be to bring them back into use. By owning an empty property there are costs incurred such as council tax, insurance and security; lost income from renting or selling the property; and reduction in the property’s value if the properties condition deteriorates.

Matchmakers scheme

We now operates a matchmakers scheme for empty home owners which 'matches up' sellers of empty homes with potential purchasers. The Empty Homes Officer will provide the seller and purchaser with each other's details to contact directly.

Not all empty home owners have the time or financial resources to return their property to use, and sometimes the best solution is to sell the property to someone who can.

Whether your empty home needs repair or is ready-to-move-in you are welcome to join the scheme.

Buying an empty home

If you are interested in purchasing an empty home, the property matchmaker can help you find the property (or properties) that are right for you. You can also let us know if there is a particular empty property that you are interested in purchasing and we can pass your contact details onto the home owner. The scheme aims for a suitable solution for sellers as well as buyers and acceptable offers and conduct is key to this.

Benefits for owners

  • It is a free service
  • Your home will be matched up with people who specifically want to purchase an empty property
  • It can help you find a buyer if you've been having difficulty selling or the home is in poor condition
  • It is a way of exploring your options if you've been thinking about selling but haven't made up your mind

Benefits for buyers

  • It is a free service
  • An empty home needing repair can give people on a lower budget the opportunity to but at a more affordable price and can be an affordable opportunity to personalise the property to meet the buyers particular requirements and taste.
  • There are a wide range of empty home types, ranging from modern to historic, move-in condition to fix-er uppers, large to small and rural to urban.

Application forms

Code of conduct

Council tax discount

In accordance with the Council Tax legislation an empty dwelling is a dwelling which is both unoccupied and unfurnished which has already received the appropriate 50% discount for the mandatory period and still remains vacant.  A levy has been applied  for properties that are unoccupied for more than 12 months and a 100% additional council tax charge will be applied to the property unless it is currently being:

  • actively marketed for sale or rent
  • undergoing structural repairs
  • is classed as a second home

If you have an empty home in East Ayrshire or if there has been a change to this information please contact Council Tax to allow your records to be updated accordingly.

Empty home advice

If you are interested in bringing your empty home back into use we can offer you some advice and assistance in the following areas:

  • Safety and security
  • Renovation overview
  • VAT discounts
  • Energy efficiency
  • Selling options such as estate agents, auction houses, property buying companies
  • Private renting
  • Interest free loans provided by us
  • We operate a ‘buy back’ scheme
  • We operate a Matchmaker Scheme whereby owners can provide details of their property, this information can be passed to potential purchasers

Private landlord advice

If you wish to consider becoming a private landlord we would provide potential landlords with a package of assistance to ease the transition from being an owner of an empty property to being a private rented sector landlord. This could include providing:

  • Landlord guides, including model tenancy agreements etc
  • Access to the Deposit Guarantee Scheme along with advice and assistance
  • Access to the available property list
  • Specifically tailored Accreditation Training Courses
  • Registration assistance
  • Ongoing advice and assistance

If you would like further advice and assistance on any of the above please contact the Empty Homes Officer.

Contact Information


Private Sector Housing Unit direct numbers
Karen Walker, Private Sector Manager: 07785 445 835
Dawn Cadwell, Private Sector Assistant: 07785 446 115
Christine Thomson, Private Sector Assistant: 07785 446 120
Ashley Muir, Private Sector Assistant: 07785 446 275
Liz King, Private Sector Development Officer: 07785 445 835
Gemma Wilks, Private Sector Clerical Assistant: 07785 446 298
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street
Telephone: 01563 554400