Using Capacitygrid’s Empty
Homes Review Service

Created in April 2009, Central Bedfordshire Council is a unitary authority formed after the merger of Mid Bedfordshire and South Bedfordshire District Councils and Bedfordshire County Council.

Along with nearly all local authorities across England, Central Bedfordshire Council had a growing number of long term empty properties that needed to be fully reviewed to ensure the accuracy of council tax records and reduce the number of vacant properties (to make more homes available for the most vulnerable; reduce the potential for antisocial behaviour that can often be associated with empty homes and, if possible, increase the funding available under the Government’s New Homes
Bonus scheme).

In 2022, for the second year running, Central Bedfordshire Council decided to take the Empty Homes Review Service from Capacitygrid.

The Solution:

Capacitygrid, by Liberata, has been providing local authorities with a comprehensive and market-leading
Empty Homes Review Service for over ten years. During that time, Capacitygrid’s review services have generated over £675M of additional revenue for the councils that we have worked with (and over 600 separate reviews have been completed). On average, a full review, will remove 23% from the list of long term empty properties – each house removed can be used to generate additional New Homes Bonus Funding.

The reviews are provided on a “risk and reward” basis – so there is no fee at all if we do not remove houses from the Council’s Long Term Empty list.

The Results:

• 265 properties removed from Long Term Empty list
• Removal rate of29% • Estimated additional New Homes Bonus funding of £511,597

• 306 properties removed from Long Term Empty list
• Removal rate of36% • Estimated additional New Homes Bonus funding of £575,305

“Our 2022 Empty Homes Review was another seamless process of working in partnership with a well-established, efficient and trust worthy supplier. The review not only generates income for the
Council but also ensures our Council Tax records are updated with accurate and timely information.”
Gary Muskett – Assistant Director: Revenues & Benefits

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As a Council we are focused on ensuring that the services delivered are both sustainable and of the highest quality. We are delighted to be working with Liberata to help deliver these services on behalf of our residents and businesses. Liberata stood out with its ability to drive transformational change and improve customer access and digital services.
Richard Baker
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Liberata is the ideal delivery partner to help us achieve our aims, whilst ensuring we can drive down processing times and improve the service for our customers. Council tax and business rates collection will improve, ensuring that we have the funds to deliver the vital services that have a positive impact on residents’ lives. We look forward to working closely in partnership with Liberata to help achieve our aims
Rebecca Keene
Broxbourne Borough Council
Eastleigh Borough Council has worked with Liberata for a number of years who undertake the council's empty home reviews, and I must say, their service exceeded all expectations. From start to finish, they demonstrated professionalism, efficiency, and a genuine commitment to addressing this critical issue in our community. Thanks to Liberata, the council has been able to maximise our empty home bonus year on year. This positive impact on our community cannot be overstated.
Kerrie Thomas
Eastleigh Borough Council
The RV Finder service from Liberata has really helped us ensure that our data is as accurate as possible and, when the VOA has processed the outstanding cases, I fully expect to see more than £1,000,000 of additional RV. The “risk and reward” model works well and the Council only has to pay for their success and the service is something that we will use on a regular basis.
Steve King
Leicester City Council
Liberata has been empowered to create a seamless integration with technology to digitally transform the Revenues and Benefits service whilst trying to protect local jobs. The joint strategy has helped to deliver innovative solutions that have exceeded expectations, whilst providing savings to the authority. This surge in digital engagement has helped deliver strong year one outturn with electronic billing and the technology will enable us to show improvements in the benefits speed of processing and in Council Tax processing of moves, discounts and exemptions.
Andy Stevens
Swindon Borough Council