Rental loss over empty garages

East Devon District Council lose �70,000 in revenue.

EMPTY garages in Honiton, the Axe Valley and the rest of the area are seeing East Devon District Council (EDDC) ‘lose’ around �70,000 in revenue a year.

Authority bosses have seen a “steady increase” in the number of unused garages – classed as council housing stock.

A “significant number of voids” in Millwey Rise, Axminster, Whitebridges, Honiton, Harepath Road, Seaton, and in Payhembury and Musbury have been identified by officers.

A total of 120 empty garages have seen the council miss out on tens of thousands of pounds, 16 per cent of total debit, in yearly rent.

The assets net EDDC an annual rental income of �424,000. Housing Review Board members will discuss whether to set up a task and finish forum to carry out a review of the council’s 762 garages, and their management, when they meet tomorrow (Thursday, January 12).

“The number of voids has been steadily increasing over the last two years,” says a report to board members.

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“We are now getting two to three garage terminations a week, with only one to two being let a week. The reason for the increase is primarily the current economic situation and because of a perceived high rental charge.”

EDDC has spent �27,350 on garage repairs so far in the 2011/12 financial year.