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Empty Homes

Everyone can benefit from an empty home being brought back into use. Homes that are lived in help to support safer communities and the local economy. The demand for housing in the district of South Holland is very high. We have an expectation that every empty property should be occupied.

We are committed to working with owners of empty homes to help bring their properties back into use. 

From 1 April 2019, any home that has been empty for more than two years will be charged 200 percent council tax. See our long term empty properties web page for more information.

Even if your empty home is in good condition now, empty homes are more likely to be at risk of vandalism and criminal damage. Leaving a home empty can also result in higher maintenance and repair costs than occupied properties. The best way to keep your empty home safe and secure it is to keep it occupied. If your property requires improvements in order to bring it back into use, you can apply for an Empty Homes Grant:

Empty Homes Grant

The grant is for owners of an empty property where repairs are required to bring the property back into use.

The grant has the following criteria:

  • You must have owned the property for a minimum of 12 months
  • Works should help remedy defects or deficiencies which will result in the empty home being brought back into use.
  • The applicant is responsible for obtaining planning permission or building regulation consent where necessary.
  • Applicants will be formally means tested.
  • Applicants must have less than £16,000 capital, savings and investments.
  • Maximum grant £10,000.
  • If the property is disposed of within 10 years of the completion of the works, repayment of the grant amount will be required.


When you complete an application, you will be asked to provide some, or all, of the following documentation:


  • Photographic evidence of the disrepairs.
  • Proof of identification eg copy of driving licence, birth certificate or passport.
  • Proof that you have owned the property at least 12 months (eg a utility bill or council tax bill dated more than 12 months ago).
  • 3 quotes from accredited contractors for the works required including details of condemned appliances (if applicable).
  • 3 months' bank statements and one payslip (if applicable).
  • Proof of passported benefits (if applicable).
  • Home insurance policy certificate.

Once we receive your completed application and supporting documentation, we will assess your eligibility based on the SHDC grant criteria and policy.  We will confirm to you in writing the outcome of your application.

You should not carry out any works for which you are seeking grant assistance, before you have received our approval in writing.

To apply: Please complete and return the  Empty Homes Grant Application (PDF) [336KB] (opens new window)

Please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01775 761161 if you require any assistance completing the application.

Owners that leave properties empty

We have a range of powers under the Housing Act 2004, for example we can:

  • serve an Improvement Notice to make the owner bring their property up to a 'decent homes' standard
  • apply for an Empty Dwelling Management Order which enables us to take control of the property, carry out remedial works and use the property to reduce the housing need in the District
  • serve a Compulsory Purchase Order which allows us to buy the property and sell it on
  • enforce the sale of the property.

South Holland District Council Empty Homes Strategy

Read our  Empty Homes Strategy (PDF) [102KB] (opens new window)  and our  Empty Homes Strategy appendix (PDF) [60KB] (opens new window)  here.

Reporting an Empty Home

If you are concerned about an empty property near you - please get in touch with our Private Sector Housing Team on 01775 761161 or email