Empty Properties Standard

Ashford Borough Council would like you to be safe, comfortable and happy in your new home. We recognise that moving to a new home is one of life's major events and want to make sure you are provided with a property ready for your arrival.

The Void Property Standard offers guidance on standards applied to all properties owned by us that become vacant. Our aim is to ensure that properties offer a home in a good state of repair meeting all statutory requirements. 

Health & Safety

We will only hand over your new house keys when we are satisfied nothing in your new home represents a safety risk.

Electrical Inspection - Electrical services to the property will have been inspected for faults and general integrity, with an NICEIC periodic test and inspection certificate being issued. A copy test certificate, which confirms all aspects of the original electrical installation  meets current compliance standards and are safe to use, will be supplied to you upon moving in.

Gas Safety Check - Gas services to the property will have been inspected for faults and general integrity, with a Landlords Gas Safety Record certificate being issued. A copy of this certificate, which confirms that all aspects of the original gas installation is safe for use and meets current standard, will be supplied to you upon moving in. Details for turn and test arrangements where required will also be provided.

Energy Performance - An energy performance assessment will have been completed with an Energy Performance Certificate being issued. A copy of this certificate which covers levels of insulation and other useful energy saving advice will be supplied to you upon moving in.  

Asbestos Check - A visual check of any potential asbestos content will have been completed, with a report detailing the location type and condition of any damaged asbestos within the property being issued where required.

Fire Protection - A check will have been completed to ensure that the property meets current regulations with fire doors and closers fitted where appropriate.

What can you expect of Ashford Borough Council?

All properties are inspected under our Void Property Standard when they become vacant, with any work identified being completed before a new tenant moves in. Properties are then re-inspected after completion of any work, to ensure an acceptable standard of safety and quality has been maintained.

Security - A check for correct operation of doors and windows will have been completed. Locks to external doors will have been changed and you will be provided with two keys for each external door. Where possible window locks will be fitted and you will be provided with keys for appropriate units. Where a door entry system is installed you will be provided with two access fobs, with additional fobs being available for purchase if required.

Cleanliness - All surfaces will have been cleaned and disinfected, in particular kitchens and bathrooms, sinks, baths, basins and toilets to enable their immediate use.

Clearance - All properties, associated garages, sheds and outhouses will have been cleared of refuse and other debris.

Appliances - All standard fitment appliances including central heating systems, electric showers, storage heaters and electric convector heaters will have been checked for compliance, operation and serviced where necessary. 

Heating - All properties will have adequate and appropriate methods of space heating. 

General - Taps, wastes and overflows will be free from leaks and in full working order.

Internal Decorations - Properties are not redecorated so this may be required.

Floors - Sub floors will be safe and provide a flat surface for any chosen covering, with defective floorboards or floor tiles having been replaced to match existing where possible.

Kitchen - The kitchen will provide a balance between preparation area, storage and space for the installation of white goods. Where permitted there will be a minimum of the following: 1 single drainer stainless steel sink, 1 double wall unit or two single wall units, 2 base units, sufficient space provision for a fridge or fridge/freezer, a washing machine and a cooker, plumbing for a washing machine and a minimum single course of ceramic tiles above worktops and sinks. Where a choice of power source exists for a cooker, the gas supply pipe will have been capped off and made safe, ready for connection by your preferred service provider, similarly the electrical supply will be ready for connection by a suitably qualified person.    

Ventilation - All vents will be clear of obstructions and a visual inspection of extractor fans will have been completed.

Bathrooms and W.Cs - All bathrooms where space permits will provide the following: Bath with side and or end panel, toilet suite with cistern and a wash hand basin

Shower heads - Will be replaced where sole form of washing as in wet rooms  

Aids and Adaptations - Where rooms or areas of the property have been adapted for use by a previous tenant it will not be reinstated to its original status as part of the void standard process. However, redundant items such as stair lifts may be removed where there is no demand by our new tenant.  

Insulation - All roof spaces will be insulated to a minimum depth including trap doors, with tanks and pipes in the roof space being lagged.

Damp and Condensation - Potential sources of damp and condensation will have been inspected with appropriate corrective action, where necessary involving the services of a specialist consultancy company. 

External Structure - The roof will be in good condition and weather tight, guttering and downpipes will be fully operational. 

Fences and Boundaries - Fences gates and walls that form boundaries to Public Highways and/or Public Footpaths will be in serviceable condition.

Sheds and Greenhouses - Sheds and greenhouses in a safe and serviceable condition will be left in-situ but future maintenance is the responsibility of our tenant. 

Gardens - Gardens will be clear of refuse or debris 

Paths Driveways and Hard standings - Paths, driveways and hard standings will be in serviceable condition

Reminders checklist

Change of address - You will need to inform all family, friends and important contacts, like you employer, schools, banks, council tax, current utility service providers, etc of your new address and move in date.

Gas supply - Where there is a live gas supply to the property and this is your preferred energy source, you will need to arrange and pay for a connection to the gas supply directly with your chosen service provider.

Electricity supply - You will need to arrange for connection to the electrical supply directly with your chosen service provider.

Sky, Cable TV, Telephones, Broadband - You will need to arrange for the transfer, and or installation, of any satellite, cable TV, telephone and broadband services.

Domestic appliances - You will need to provide white goods e.g. fridges, freezers, washing machines, ovens and or cookers, etc and ensure that they are correctly installed.

Useful contacts

Housing Repairs Team

Telephone: 01233 330366 / 0300 003 0711

Email: repairs@ashford.gov.uk

Outside working hours emergency repairs

Telephone: 01233 330366

Heating maintenance contractor

Telephone: 0800 206 1371

Housing Services Team

Telephone: 01233 330688

Email: housing@ashford.gov.uk

National gas emergency service

Telephone: 0800 111 999