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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Landlords encouraged to use ‘under-utilised’ homes for council

Owners of apparently empty or under-utilised properties in a prime London area are being asked to bring them into use to help tackle a local area’s housing shortage.

Kensington and Chelsea council says it will be contacting landlords of empty homes to encourage them to offer the properties to those in need at a subsidised rate – particularly key workers who have played such a significant role on the frontline of the pandemic. 

The authority suggests it will also work with landlords to find tenants and ensure that tenancies are managed efficiently.

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The council says one out of every 40 homes is identified as empty in a borough with the highest land values in the United Kingdom and average house prices of £1.4m.

The strategy will include trialling the use of legislative tools such as Empty Dwellings Management Orders and forceable sales to bring properties back into use. 

The council will also be renewing its campaign to make EDMO legislation easier to use, having previously raised the issue with the government in 2018.

Deputy leader Councillor Kim Taylor-Smith says: “Key workers have been travelling from across London to keep our essential services going in the pandemic and I would love to be able to bring empty homes back into use to give them a local housing option. I hope to tap into the wonderful philanthropy of the borough to achieve this, working collaboratively with landlords who may not currently be receiving any rent for their properties.

“In severe circumstances where landlords refuse to engage, we need the law to help us and we’ll be asking the government to reconsider our ask for more local powers.”

 

The council has also enrolled support from Chris Bailey, campaign manager with the charity Action on Empty Homes, who says: “In National Empty Homes Week, it’s great to see the Kensington and Chelsea continuing to take on the issue of empty homes seriously.

“During the pandemic, long-term empty homes rose by 20 per cent, while 100,000 homeless families wait for suitable homes in temporary accommodation. We hope government will see that it’s time for change.

“The council is working to use the powers and incentives available today, but critically it is also looking forward to the changes to legislation and regulations which it and many other councils have long campaigned for.”

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    I'd personally avoid inviting the council into my properties period. Im sure many readers have similar views on trusting councils that only seem to want to work against us.

    If an owner wishes to gain assistance in such a way then there are plenty of charitable organisations out there operating in the same manner. They will fill your properties almost immediately (waiting list a mile long), support the tenant through the relocation, helping support the sorting of utilities to ensuring any UC is directed to the landlord (one of their big selling points is they can guarantee UC to landlord if its a claimant- which is most likely).

    However my very limited experiments of these organisations (them having approached me through my adverts) have found the organisations 'wanting' shall we say.

    Better to dig in and get on with it yourself than trying the seemingly easy route.

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    No shortage of good hard working tenants available here in Norwich, just re let a house, more than 10 viewings, 3 good tenants to choose from, why would we want some low life from the council wrecking our property

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    If the choice is getting no rent by keeping a property empty or by letting a rent dodger sponge of us with no options for early repossession, then guess what we will choose?

    No. Don't guess. The evidence is in this article 100,000 times over.

    Giving landlords decent incentives to provide homes for decent tenants will help solve the housing shortage.

    Rewarding and encouraging rogue tenant rent dodgers only harms decent tenants.

    However, for the lefties, dogma always trumps common sense and doing the right thing for the greatest good.

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    • 01 March 2021 09:33 AM

    No Council will be allowed to go within five feet of ANY of of my properties never. EVER.

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    David

    The safe distance is 2 metres! Haven't you been watching any TV over the last year?

    5 feet is far too close and you would risk infection from a range of ailments endemic in any Council - such as laziness, intolerance, stupidity, intransigence etc.

    Hard working people have no immunity against such scourges which we don't encounter in our own herds.

     
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    • 01 March 2021 15:17 PM

    So terribly sorry.......I was referring to my enormously long driveway which is a good 10-minute drive from the house.

    I should have been cleaRER.

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    Only 10 minutes? PAUPER!

     
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    • 01 March 2021 15:39 PM

    Yes I know. It is such a problem, I am not sure I can cope.

     
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    Forced sales.... Isn't property an asset? If I had legally purchased a house worth 1.4 million and abide by all the law in owning it, paying all the rates etc. Why should the council have the right to force me to sell it? How can they? Surely this is going down the road of legalised theft.

    What would the difference be in someone owning a large collection of high value cars that they choose not to drive? Should the government be able to force that sale, someone might want to drive that car. Or should the government say you should loan your high value asset to someoneat a rate below market value?

    Surely the clue is in the name home ownership. My name is on the deeds and I lawfully own it, so I will decide how I use it.

    Please let me confirm I own no homes at this value, for all those that read my comments I just enjoy playing the devil's advocate. I use the term legal ownership as I fully back the NCA/ law enforcement having the power to conduct unexplained wealth orders to take back homes and assets from those who have gained them from the profits of illegal activity.

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