Empty homes and area improvements
The Private Sector Development Team manages a range of initiatives and projects to improve and regenerate privately owned housing in Calderdale. This work includes:
- Area based improvement schemes
- Bringing empty properties back in to use
- Working with private landlords
- Providing relocation assistance.
Bringing empty properties back into use
Privately owned empty properties are a wasted resource and where possible and practical Calderdale Council will assist with bringing them back into use.
Calderdale Council's revised Empty Homes strategy 2010 - 2015 reflects changes made to legislation to help Local Authorities bring back empty homes back into use.
Empty properties can soon start to cause problems, especially if they are allowed to go into decline. With rotten windows and doors, overgrown gardens, and signs of abandonment, they can attract anti-social behaviour, vandalism, litter, crime, vermin, drug dealing and squatters. They become 'eye sores' and blight the lives of individuals and communities and reduce the value of neighbouring properties.
What can the Council do?
The Council is currently developing ways to encourage owners to bring their homes back into use. Solutions being developed are based upon enablement, inducement and enforcement.
- Offer help and advice with technical issues
- Assistance to become a landlord
- Help new and existing landlords find suitable tenants
- Introduction to organisations to manage tenancies
- Investigate ownership disputes.
- Help with financial assistance depending on circumstances / finding finance
- Assist with procurement of work/ repairs.
- Serving repair and improvement notices under Environmental Health, Planning & Building legislation
- Empty Dwelling Management Orders
- Enforced Sale
- Compulsory Purchase Orders.
What can the owner of the empty property do?
Each empty property will require its own solution. Owners are encouraged to work with the Council to develop the most appropriate solution. Some simple suggestions include:
- Live in the property themselves
- Sell the property
- Let the property, either privately or through a letting agent.
The Council would prefer to bring a property back in to use through a negotiated process and provision of support and incentives. However, if the owner is not interested in the offers of assistance that might be available and they continue to leave their property empty, the Council will give consideration to the use of enforcement action from the different powers which are listed above.
Contact us about an empty home
Do you know an empty property? Is it causing a nuisance? Is it an eyesore?
If so, we would like to know about it. The council has developed ways to encourage owners to bring their homes back into use. Our dedicated officers will contact the owner, identify the problems and design solutions.
If you would like to tell us about an empty home please go on the link below.
Once completed it will automatically generate an email to the council officers responsible for empty homes work enabling them to investigate. Alternatively you can contact Private Sector Housing Team at Doorways below.
Working with Private Landlords and Tenants
The Private Sector Development team is seeking to work more closely with private landlords and letting agents within the borough to ensure there is a consistent, good standard of accommodation available in the private rented sector.
The Council can provide a range of support which can help both landlords and tenants. This support includes advice on:
- Housing advice
- Housing benefits
- 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.
If you would like advice on any of the above please contact the Council on 0845 245 6000.
Property Accreditation Scheme
After consultation with landlords the Property Accreditation Scheme was re-launched as the Fair and Safe Tenancies (FAST) Property Registration Scheme. This scheme aims to enable the Council to work better with local landlords as the private rented sector plays an important role in providing housing for many people and families in the borough. The FAST Property Registration scheme offers various incentives for landlords to recognise and reward good practice. For more information visit Private rented property registration scheme .
Area Based Improvement Schemes
Every five years the Council carries out an assessment of the borough's privately owned housing stock. A random sample of 3,000 homes is generated with a view to carrying out condition surveys on a representative sample of 1,500 properties. These surveys do not give any indication of market values of the property, but are designed to give a snap shot of the general state of repair of housing across the borough.
This information is then collated to inform where and what works might be needed in the future to prevent market decline or possible failure where housing conditions may be very poor. As well as stock condition, other factors are also taken into consideration to determine where investment might be needed to bring improvements to an area.
Schemes currently being carried out include:
- Akeds Road
- Dudleys Estate, Illingworth
- Harley Bank, Todmorden
- Upper Parkinson Lane.
For information on group repair schemes contact the Home Improvement Service on 01422 392480.
Contact for Private Sector Development
- Private Sector Housing Team
18/20 The Square
Halifax HX1 1RJ
- 0845 245 6000.