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Empty Property List

Andrew Marnell made this Freedom of Information request to Manchester City Council

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Dear Manchester City Council,

I am looking for a list of long term empty residential property lists within the councils area. Would you be able to supply me with these under the Freedom of Information Act? A spreadsheet will suffice, I require no personal information simply the property address.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Marnell

Information Compliance, Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Marnell
Re: Request for Information - Reference No: TRE/AUNBJE
Thank you for your request for information received by Manchester City
Council on 2 January 2018.
Please note that it may take up to 20 working days (30 January 2018) for
the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.   
If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will
be notified and kept informed. 
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. 
Yours sincerely
Cieran Cassidy
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
M60 2LA
Email:  [1][Manchester City Council request email]
Website:  [2]www.manchester.gov.uk

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Paul O'Keefe, Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Marnell

The Council publishes details of all empty commercial properties

on its website.  Please follow the link below to access this information.


I have considered your request for information about empty domestic
properties with reference to the following exemption: Section 31(1)(a)
allows me to withhold the disclosure of information that would, or would
be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime

This exemption is qualified which means it is subject to the public
interest test.  In deciding whether or not to release information under
FoIA, I must consider whether the requested information is suitable for
publication to the world at large.

In applying the public interest test I have concluded that, on balance, it
is more beneficial to withhold the information than to release it. In
reaching this decision I have considered the following factor in favour of

The public interest in awareness of the level of vacant residential
property so that appropriate action can be taken to bring such property
back into use

I have also considered the following factors, which must be balanced
against disclosure:

The risk that publication would prejudice the prevention of crime by
releasing information about empty domestic properties to the world at
large, leading to the likely targeting of these properties by those
engaged in illegal drug use, gang activity, arson, vandalism, theft and
anti-social behaviour

The risk that publication of this information to the world at large would
lead to increased anxiety and fear of crime amongst residents of adjacent
properties as a result of the likely targeting of empty properties by
those engaged in crime and anti social behaviour

The risk that publication of this information could undermine efforts by
the Council, other housing providers and owners to bring empty residential
properties back into use in order to improve local communities and reduce
crime and vandalism in areas where property have been left empty and in a
poor state of repair.

While there are public interest arguments in favour of releasing the
information, I consider that these arguments are outweighed by the harm
that might arise from disclosure.  This position is supported by the
decision of the Upper Tribunal in London Borough of Camden v The
Information Commissioner & YV [2012]

The Council’s Revenues and Benefits Unit does hold some information in
respect of long-term empty domestic properties owned falling within the
boundaries of Manchester.   While I am satisfied that the information that
you have requested is exempt from disclosure under FoIA on the basis of
the above exemptions; I believe that for accountability reasons the public
is entitled to statistical information held by the Council indicating the
number of vacant properties within the City of Manchester.  I am therefore
happy to provide you with a table indicating the number of long-term
vacant residential properties that have been notified to the Council’s
Revenues and Benefits Unit in each of the 32 wards of the Council.  Please
let me know if you would like me to provide you with this information.



Please note if you are not satisfied with this response you may ask for an
internal review. If you wish an internal review to be undertaken you
should contact the Democratic Services Legal Team, whose address is, PO
Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA, email:

[2][Manchester City Council request email] in the first instance. A copy
of the Council’s access to information complaints procedure can be
downloaded from
If you do not have internet access and require a paper copy, please let me


If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review process,
you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a


The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:


Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Tel: 01625 545700

Fax: 01625 524510



If you have any queries about this letter please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.


Yours sincerely

Paul O'Keefe
Council Tax Operations Manager
Revenues and Benefits Unit
Manchester City Council 
P.O. Box 3
M15 5BA
Tel: 0161 219 6140
Internal 801 36140
Fax 0161 274 7211
Email: [5]p.o'[email address]

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Andrew Marnell please sign in and let everyone know.