Empty homes

The council has identified reducing the number of empty properties within the borough as a key priority. Leaving property empty can attract nuisance and anti-social behaviour, depreciate in value and reduce the value of surrounding homes, cause problems to adjoining property and is a waste of the housing stock.

At any one time there are approximately 1000 long term empty properties in the borough representing nearly 2% of the housing stock in Amber Valley.

Properties become and remain empty for a variety of reasons:-

  • They are associated with business use and can only be occupied when the business is operating
  • The property is subject to legal proceedings e.g. probate
  • The house is undergoing demolition or conversion through the planning process
  • A number of properties are part of the normal housing market processes and are either up for sale or let
  • A majority are being renovated prior to reoccupation or sale or let
  • Some properties remain empty because the owners are unable or unwilling to bring them back into use
  • A small number remain empty because they are second homes or the owner works away.

The council has several ways in which we can help owners turn empty property into an asset:

Help letting or selling a property – we can advise you on:

  • Choosing an agent to manage the letting of your property,
  • Selling the property through an estate agent or
  • Selling your property through an auction house. 

If you are considering privately letting your property we may also be able to assist you with finding a suitable tenant.

Help and advice renovating a property – we can advise you of the standards and requirements of property being renovated for letting purposes.

Matching service – we have a list of organisations that are looking to bring empty properties back into use. You can use this service if you are looking to sell, lease or let your property.

Where empty properties become unsightly or become a nuisance to the community the council has a range of measures under environmental or planning legislation to resolve the problem.

In the first instance it is the councils policy to assist owners of long term empty properties to bring them back into use. However, where owners consistently show that they are unwilling or unable to return properties to use the Council can consider more formal enforcement measures. These include:

Enforced sale – owners who owe us money can be made to sell empty houses, usually through an auction. We will recoup monies owed 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 take ownership of a property to ensure it is put back into use. The owner receives compensation for loss of the house.

To report an empty property in your area or for any other empty property enquiry please contact the empty property officer on any of the details above.

Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email eh-housing@ambervalley.gov.uk