There is a severe shortage of housing to rent and buy across the Derbyshire Dales. This situation has become more urgent in recent years as the number of people living in the district has risen. The rise in house prices has also meant that a lot of homes are unaffordable for many local people.
Empty homes, quite simply, are a wasted resource. Instead, they could be someone’s home and help towards meeting this shortage. They may also become a site for dumping and attract vandalism and antisocial behaviour. When this happens the property can quickly decline, having a serious impact on the immediate neighbours and the local area.
It is usually homes that have been empty in the long term, six months or more, which can become a problem. When a home is empty for a short time, for example in between a sale or a new let, this is the normal operation of the market and not a cause for concern.
What is the Council doing about empty homes?
The Council recognises that the owners of empty homes would often benefit from support and guidance to help get their properties bought back into use. The Council has therefore set up an Empty Homes Service with a dedicated Empty Homes Officer post to provide advice, information and support to owners.
The Council’s Empty Homes Service offers:
- A free property appraisal to help you judge the costs of renovation and the property’s current value
- Advice and help on the options available, and support to guide you through these processes
- Advice and guidance on energy efficiency measures and improvements
- A referral to other Council departments, such as planning or environmental health if necessary
- Links with organisations such as Housing Associations, who may wish to buy your property if you choose to sell.
If you are the owner of an empty home and want advice and assistance on what to do next, please contact the Empty Homes Officer on 01629 761135 or via email at
The Council will always look to work with the owners of empty homes on a voluntary and cooperative basis to bring an empty home back into use. However, where owners fail to respond and continue to leave a home empty and in a deteriorating condition, the Council will look to take enforcement action and consider the legal options available to it.
In 2019, in order to provide an additional incentive for owners to bring empty homes back into use, the Council charged an Empty Homes Premium of 100% (2 X Council Tax) for homes which have been empty and unfurnished for more than 2 years. And from April 2023, in order to increase the incentive to bring long term empty homes back into use further, the Council has agreed to charge an additional premium of 200% (3 X Council Tax) for properties which have been empty for 5 years and 300% (4 X Council Tax) for properties which have been empty for more than 10 years. (Please note that exemptions may apply in certain circumstances)
Report an empty property
If you have information on an empty property or wish to complain about one, please contact the Empty Homes Officer on 01629 761135 or via email at