Help for the owners of empty homes

Bradford Council is working to bring down the number of empty homes and make the most of the housing stock in Bradford District.  The Empty Homes and Loans team is here to help owners of empty properties and other agencies to bring empty properties back in to use.

Please note that we can only deal with residential properties and cannot handle enquiries or advise about empty commercial properties.

Why should I bring an empty property back into use?

If you have an empty property, you have got an expensive asset which is at risk of damage.  As well as missing out on the income that you could get from letting the property out or the money from selling it, it is also possible that the value of your asset will go down, the longer that it is empty.

An empty property can be very distressing for neighbours because it may become a magnet for anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and graffiti and is also at risk of being squatted in.  Empty properties can also be used for fraud and other criminal activities.

If a property becomes empty you will still have to pay the full Council Tax charge and this will increase to 200% of the full charge if the property is still empty after 2 years. There are further increases where a property remains empty after 5 and 10 years.  You can find more information about Council Tax charges and any exemptions that may apply on the Council Tax pages.

As well as Council Tax you are likely to be faced with other costs such as insurance, security measures and regular inspections.  You will also need to make sure that the property is maintained and secure.  You are still responsible for any damage that the property causes to your neighbours even if you do not live there.

If an empty property is causing significant blight to an area or causing a statutory nuisance the Council has the powers to take enforcement action to put things right.

What are the options for bringing an empty property back in to use?

The Empty Homes and Loans Team can give you advice and information about your options for bringing your empty property back in to use.  We may also be able to provide some help with this.

If you are thinking of selling your property or letting this to a tenant you may want to renovate your property before doing this.  We have some information about renovating your property.  There are some tax incentives for renovating empty homes which may mean that you pay less to carry out this work.

If you are struggling to pay for repairs to an empty property that are needed so that  it can then be brought back in to use, we may be able to provide an Empty Property Loan, or Empty Property Assistance which may be available if you are unable to fund works through an Empty Property Loan or other private funding.

If you are thinking about renting out your property we have some information about being a landlord which will tell you some of the things that you need to be aware of.  The Council’s Private Sector Lettings Scheme  can also help introduce tenants to landlords who are participating in the scheme.  

Sometimes, the main reason that you haven’t brought an empty property back in to use is because of legal problems such as applying for probate or a defective title.  We may be able to put you in touch with a solicitor who can help with any legal problems.

Contact details

Empty Homes and Loans Team
8th Floor
Margaret McMillan Tower
Princes Way

Phone : 01274 434520
Email :