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Matchmaker scheme

We now operate a matchmaker 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.

Landlord to landlord sale

We have now also introduced landlord to landlord sales where we can 'match up' a landlord with current sitting tenants with buyers who are already in the letting market or are looking to enter into this. The Empty Homes Officer will provide the seller and purchaser with each others details to contact directly.

On occasion landlords may wish to be removed from the rental market but have a long term tenant. Rather than serve the tenant with notice to leave, consideration could be given to selling with the sitting tenant. Some advantages would be:

  • there is no void time, therefore no lost rental
  • you don’t have to serve notice to bring the tenancy to an end
  • no disruption to the tenant and their family, especially important during a pandemic
  • children of the tenant can avoid the disruption of changing school
  • the new landlord doesn’t have to seek a new tenant
  • no long term empty property

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
  • VAT discounts
  • Energy efficiency
  • Selling options such as estate agents, auction houses, property buying companies
  • Private renting
  • 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
  • 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 Dawn Cadwell on the details below.

Contact Information


Private Sector Housing Unit direct numbers
Karen Walker, Homeowners Service (Private Sector) Manager: 07469 406 300
Dawn Cadwell, Empty Homes Officer: 07785 446 115
Elizabeth (Liz) King, Private Sector Assistant: 07785 445 835
Christine Thomson, Private Sector Assistant: 07785 446 120
Gemma Wilks, Private Sector Clerical Assistant: 07785 446 298
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
Telephone: 01563 554400