Empty properties

Empty properties

Long term empty properties are a waste of valuable housing for both the owners and the community, and reducing the number of empty homes in Chesterfield is one of our key priorities.

We consider 'long term empty properties' to be residential properties (such as houses, flats, bungalows etc) that have been empty for six months or more.

Why are empty properties such a problem? 

Properties that have been left empty for a long time can attract nuisance and anti-social behaviour, such as vandalism, squatting, litter, pests, overgrown gardens and invasive weeds.

Leaving a home empty for a long period of time can affect the structure and fabric of the house and any adjoining houses - such as through the spread of damp and water leaks etc.

Long term empty properties often suffer from reduced sale values and can also affect the value of neighbouring properties. A long term empty property could be costing the owner thousands of pounds a year in lost income, loss of value, security charges, council tax and insurance costs. 

Empty homes are also a waste of valuable housing that could be put to good use. 

What can we do?

Our Empty Homes Strategy explains how we intend to deal with the problem of empty homes in the borough:

If our documents are not accessible to you, you can request a different format here.
Empty Homes Strategy 2016-2020 PDF (PDF 210 KB)

We will work with owners of long term empty properties wherever we can to bring them back into use.

Do you own an empty property? We can help you.

We can offer you advice and help on the options available to you. We will also refer you to other services who may be able to help you, such as planning, building control and the housing team.

VAT relief

VAT discounts may be available when renovating a long term empty property or when installing energy saving measures:

Guide to VAT relief PDF (PDF 205 KB)

Trusted Trader Scheme

Derbyshire County Council operates the Trusted Trader scheme to help you find contractors and tradespeople when renovating a property.

Council Tax

Find out if you are eligible for a council tax discount or exemption on your long term empty property.

What else can we do?

We are keen to work with owners of long term empty properties, but if negotiation isn't successful we can take legal action to bring them back into use.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders – we legally take over management of a house temporarily so that we can refurbish it and let it out.

Enforced Sale – property owners who owe us money can be made to sell empty houses. We will recover the debt owed to us leaving the remainder of the sale proceeds to the owner.

Compulsory Purchase – if an owner continually refuses to cooperate and it is in the public interest, then we can buy the property from them (even if they don't give their consent) to ensure it is put back into use. 

Reporting an empty property

Let us know if a property has been empty for six months or more.

We will need to know the address or the location of the property, and any issues that are happening because the property is standing empty. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for us to investigate. 

Report an empty property

Protecting your privacy - find out how we keep your information safe.

Criminal activity

If you think the property is being used for criminal activity contact Derbyshire Police on 101

Get in touch

Our private sector housing team is happy to give advice and discuss any issues regarding empty homes:

Chesterfield Borough Council

Private Sector Housing Team,
Town Hall,
Rose Hill,
S40 1LP

Email: homeimprovementagency@chesterfield.gov.uk
Telephone: 01246 345748 

You may be aware of third parties who provide solutions to landlords and owners of empty homes.

One scheme is the empty home support for homeowners by Serco. You can find out more about the services they can offer on their website. 

Please note - this scheme has simply been brought to our attention, and we have not undertaken any due diligence in relation to it.

To that end, we make no representations or warranties in respect of Serco and/or their empty home scheme, and shall be in no way be held liable for anything arising from any involvement in the scheme, including any property dealing.

Last updated on 12 December 2023