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Empty (unoccupied) properties

Boarded up houses and derelict or untidy sites are unsightly, may attract vermin, rubbish, graffiti and vandalism and can have a negative effect on the value of neighbouring properties.

Bait Centre before and after being brought back into use

Empty homes represent a wasted resource;

  • for every homeless person there are seven empty homes
  • it is estimated that up to 300,000 households in the UK are currently empty (for more than six months)
  • in South Derbyshire approximately 1.18% of the housing stock is vacant.

Bringing empty homes into use has many benefits

Owners benefit from:

  • rental income or better sales potential
  • help with finding suitable tenants
  • security against vandalism
  • property management
  • long term investment

Neighbouring residents benefit from:

  • the removal of eyesore which may be attracting vandals and infestation

Tenants benefit from:

  • having a wider choice of properties to rent
  • access to good quality, affordable homes

The council benefits from:

  • developing an enabling role which may result in greater levels of Government financial support
  • improvements to key properties which may form part of a wider regeneration strategy
  • use of a wasted resource in rural communities which may reduce the need to develop greenfield sites

What is South Derbyshire District Council's Empty Homes Strategy?

We are committed to working with the community and all agencies involved in housing provision to bring empty properties in South Derbyshire back into use.

When an empty home or untidy site is reported, we will categorise it according to a number of factors including the degree to which it is causing problems in the neighbourhood and the length of time it has stood vacant.

We will try to trace the owner and try to bring the home back into use through sale, repair or lease. In the case of an untidy site, we will work with the owner to try to deal with the problem.

If there are problems of nuisance or vermin infestation we can require the owner to deal with those problems before a longer-term solution can be found.

Where an owner cannot be traced (or is uncooperative) we have a range of enforcement powers, which include options such as Compulsory Purchase and Empty Dwelling Management Orders. Where the council has a charge on the property, Enforced Sale will also be considered as an option.

How do I report an empty property or untidy site?

If you have a problem with an empty property or untidy site near you, You can call our hotline 01283 595974 or use the form on this page.

What help is available to property owners?

If you are the owner of an empty property and want to do something about the nuisance or loss of income it may be causing, the following options could be available to you:

  • sale to a Registered Social Landlord
  • demolition and sale of plot
  • letting to a private tenant
  • appointment of a managing agent
  • short term leasing arrangement

The housing standards team can offer professional help and advice to property owners wishing to bring their empty property back into residential use.

Contact details

South Derbyshire District Council
Housing Standards Team
Civic Offices
Civic Way
DE11 0AH

Tel: 01283 595967
Fax: 01283 595855
Online: contact form

Page ref: SDDC 16f LGSL 684

Related documents

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