Vacant Space Handback

We have launched a scheme that will help commissioners to cut the cost of empty space in their buildings.

The vacant space handback scheme is an arrangement which allows commissioners to pass the liability for eligible vacant space back to us.

We will then use our expertise to re-use the space via re-letting, disposal or development.

Find out more

Download our leaflet ‘Vacant Space Handback Scheme: A guide for commissioners’ to find out more about the scheme including eligibility and the application process.


To qualify for the scheme,  space identified must meet the following criteria:

  1. A category 1 or 2 property on the commissioner’s ‘realisation list’.
  2. Part of a property transferred to NHS Property Services on 1 April 2013 under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
  3. Property in which NHS Property Services has a legal interest
  4. Not a PFI or subject to an onerous lease.
  5. Is deemed to be:
    • Marketable and lettable
    • Self-contained unit (above 100sqm for 2017/18 – 2018/19)
    • Declared surplus to requirements by commissioners
    • Vacant at the time of handback
    • Free of debt due from the commissioner

Vacating payment

A vacating payment will be charged to customers which covers liabilities for a fixed transition period following the space becoming surplus to requirements.

The vacating payment is dependent on tenure (freehold or leasehold) and takes in to account that the space is vacant.

The vacating payment is six months’ accommodation costs for freehold/long leasehold or 12 months’ accommodation costs for all other leasehold. There is a 50 per cent discount if the property has been vacant since 1 April 2016.

Costs relating to dilapidations and reinstatement are dealt with as stated in the Charging Policy 17/18.

How to apply

To qualify to take part in the scheme, commissioners should:

  • work with their Strategic Estates Advisor to create a realisation list
  • review the eligibility criteria carefully before submitting an application form, called a Property Vacation Notice (PVN) which can be found below.

If you are unsure if your space qualifies for the scheme, please speak to the vacant space team by contacting

Supporting information

Property Vacation Notice (PVN)

Charging Policy

Visit our Charging Policy page