In the last years big companies, multinationals and the government itself are facing the issue of void management, having a lot of houses and buildings left empty for a certain amount of time that weigh on their financial statements. Since this June local councils have the power to double council taxes on dwellings left empty for between two and five years, to triple them for buildings abandoned for more than years and to quadruple for more than a decade.
The last analysis and reports estimate the number of empty houses being around 200,000 all around the UK, with 20,000 London alone. Just in Kensington & Chelsea there are more 1,300 idle dwellings, but a lot of them are “buy-to-leave” property deals, sold to foreign investors that purchase properties as investment, waiting for their value to increase. Left out these particular eventualities in London’s richer councils, many properties are left vacant due to outstanding payments, business problems or are just waiting for demolition or renovation.
The government alone owns more than 31,000 properties that are vacant at the moment for different reasons. Some of them are MoD and government’s accommodation intended for British soldiers families or other public functionaries, that can be rent just for short periods, due to MoD necessities. Others are public offices, like police and firefighter stations, left empty because of lack of employees or waiting for renovations. There are also many of them that were bought in order to build big public works and infrastructure projects. In the last years government has acquired many plots of land and private properties. For example, in the last years the government has managed many buildings to start the HS2 construction, spending an average of £1m per house, leaving more than 300 of them empty. These idle dwellings are difficult to rent just for short periods, while they are waiting for demolition, and they are costing a lot to British taxpayers.
Big companies could have the same problems when they approve new expansion projects, with brand new offices to build, acquiring buildings that can remain empty for years. Renovations have similar issues, with idle workspaces that can wait for years for necessary approvals.
With the new formula of Property Guardians, Ad Hoc Properties help owners to find short-term occupants for their vacant buildings. Guardians will occupy the property, looking after it, protecting the house from vandals, squatters and thieves, and allowing owners to save a lot of money, reducing their rates. Moreover, Guardians work on a 28 day notice period, making owners able to have their property available when they need to.
Ad Hoc Properties can give government and big companies a flexible solution thanks to Property Guardians for void management of empty properties, recovering a major part of their rates and keeping them free to organise these according to their needs.