Empty homes

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; and
  • 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 Empty Homes strategy 2014 - 2020 reflects changes made to legislation to help Local Authorities bring empty homes back into use.

PDFEmpty Homes Strategy 2014 - 2020 [PDF 555KB]

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 eyesores, blight the lives of individuals and communities and reduce the value of neighbouring properties.

Councillors decided to use the powers in the 2012 Local Government Finance Act to introduce an Empty Homes Premium of 50% from 1 April 2014 where the property had been empty for two years or more. See A guide to your Council Tax for more details.

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 and 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 listed.

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, contact the Private Sector Housing Team at: Halifax Customer First .

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
  • 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.

If you would like advice on any of the listed housing issues, phone the Council on: 01422 288001.