Compulsory Purchase Order (CPOs)
This is normally used as a last resort where all other routes have failed. By serving a compulsory purchase order on an empty property the local authority must be justified in its use and only used where there is no alternative.
A Compulsory Purchase Order is carried out under Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 (as amended). This Act gives local authorities the power to take over land, houses or other properties to increase the number of houses available or improve the quality of the housing stock. The main uses of this power are to get land for housing. This includes bringing empty properties back into use as homes, and improving substandard ones. Normally where a local authority uses this power, the property is normally then sold to:
a private-sector developer
an owner-occupier or
a registered social landlord