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Empty homes

Help and advice if you own a empty property are aware one or are affected by one in your area.

Our Private Sector Development Team manages initiatives and projects to improve and regenerate privately owned housing in Calderdale. This includes:

Bringing empty homes back into use

Privately owned empty homes are a wasted resource. Where possible and practical, we will help to bring them back into use. Please see page 17-18 of the Calderdale Housing Strategy 2021-2026, and the Empty Homes Strategy for more information.

Empty properties can soon start to cause problems if they are not heated or maintained and are left to decline. With rotten windows and doors, overgrown gardens and signs of abandonment, they can attract:

  • Anti-social behaviour;
  • vandalism;
  • litter/fly-tipping;
  • crime/drug dealing;
  • vermin;
  • and squatters.

They become an eyesore, blight the lives of people/communities and reduce the value of nearby property.

What can the Council do?

We have several ways to encourage owners to bring property back into use. Our solutions are based on:

Enablement

  • Help and advice with technical issues.
  • Help to become a landlord.
  • Help landlords to find suitable tenants.
  • Help to find an agent to manage tenancies.
  • Look in to ownership disputes.

Inducement

  • Help with financial assistance depending on circumstances/finding finance.
  • Help with procurement of work and repairs.

Enforcement

  • Serve repair and improvement notices under Environmental Health, Planning and Building legislation.
  • Empty Dwelling Management Orders.
  • Enforced Sale.
  • Compulsory Purchase Orders.

What can the owner of the empty property do?

Each property will need its own solution. We encourage owners to work with us to find the best solution.

Some suggestions are that the owner can:

  • live there;
  • sell it;
  • let it (privately or via an agent).

We prefer to get a property back in to use through talking, giving support and incentives.

We will consider enforcement action, if:

  • the owner is not interested in the offers of assistance;
  • and the property is left empty.

Contact us about an empty home

Do you know of an empty home? Is it causing a nuisance? Is it an eyesore? If so, we would like to know about it, email: under1roof@calderdale.gov.uk.

We look to work with owners to bring these back into use. We will contact them, identify problems and design solutions to help.

Council Tax and empty homes

On 1st April 2019, the empty homes premium went up from 50% to 100%. This is for those that have been empty for over two years.

Other discounts:

  • buyers of long-term empty homes will be able to apply for a repayment of the empty homes premium. This is for up to 12 months from the date of purchase. To qualify, the property has to be brought back into occupation within 12 months of the purchase date.
  • An exemption for six months for victims of flood and fire will apply if:
    • The property is classed as not being fit to live in;
    • and an efforts is being made to promptly bring it back into use.

If you own an empty property and want help to bring it back into use, please email: under1roof@calderdale.gov.uk.

For more about this, see: A guide to your Council Tax - Empty Homes Premium.

Working with private landlords and tenants

Our Private Sector Development team seeks to work closely with private landlords and letting agents in Calderdale. This is to make sure that there is a good standard of accommodation in the private rented sector.

We offer a range of support for landlords and tenants, which covers advice on:

  • Housing;
  • Housing benefits;
  • Bonds;
  • Tenancy agreements;
  • Small repairs and adaptations for vulnerable clients;
  • Energy efficiency grants;
  • Property condition and disrepair;
  • Community safety and anti-social behaviour;
  • Mediation to solve disputes;
  • Fire safety;
  • Legal evictions;
  • Bringing empty properties back in to use.

For advice on any of these issues, phone: 01422 288001.

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