What can you do if your neighbour has abandoned their home?

Living next door to an abandoned home can be a bit of a nightmare and can often decrease the attractiveness, if not the value, of your own property.

A GV of Edinburgh from Calton Hill, Edinburgh
A GV of Edinburgh from Calton Hill, Edinburgh

So, what do you do and who do you contact in such an event?

The issue of abandoned properties in Scotland is well-covered by legislation.

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If you suspect that one of your neighbours has abandoned their property, or has left it in a derelict state, your first action should be to report the matter to your local authority.


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New powers introduced in 2013 allow local authorities to apply a council tax levy on long-term empty properties to encourage private owners to bring them back into use.

If an owner cannot be contacted, the local authority has available a wide range of compulsory purchase powers which can be used to bring empty homes and vacant land back into positive use.

In the case of City of Edinburgh Council, you can visit their website and lodge your concern by contacting your local office and asking to speak to a community safety officer who will be able to advise you on the next steps to take. Note that this service is only available Monday-Friday.