It took us nearly a year to set up the whole empty properties project and I am happy to announce that we have started work on our first empty property in the London borough of Kingston-Upon-Thames.
In this instance we had the opportunity to purchase the empty property as opposed to simply bringing it back into use for the owner.
The property had been empty for around 15 years, matters of probate were unresolved, council tax arrears was a financial burden and the owner simply had enough and wanted to get rid of the whole problem.
We worked with the council officer and her brother to provide her with a package of services that included:
- Paying for the cost of estate administration so that grant of probate was issued in her name;
- Offering her a fair price to purchase the property once in her ownership
- Worked with the council to design and extend the house so that it can house a family with a disabled member on wheelchair
- Agreed to let the property to the council for a minimum period of 10 years to house the family with disability
Contractors went onsite in December and we hope to finish the project in May this year. We have appointed a project manager to oversee all works and to manage the project to completion.
The previous owner of the house, who lives nearby, told me that she is happy and always invites us for a cup of tea when we make site visits.
I will keep you posted on the development and post pictures as progress takes place.
In the meantime we are exploring other empty properties with Kingston council as well as other London Councils with a view to brining more empty properties back into use for social housing.
If you have an empty property or know someone who could benefit from our services please get in contact with me.