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:
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 discounts may be available when renovating a long term empty property or when installing energy saving measures:
Trusted Trader Scheme
Derbyshire County Council operates the Trusted Trader scheme to help you find contractors and tradespeople when renovating a property.
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.
Report an Empty Property
You can report a property that has been empty for over 6 months using our online form, or contact our private sector housing team.
You can send us the information anonymously, but it helps if you give us your details in case we have any more questions about the property you have reported.
We will treat your personal information in confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
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
Suite 9, Venture House
Telephone: 01246 345748