Empty Homes Network

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Submitted by David Gibbens on 4 Feb 2016 - 12:55
The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP

Speaking at the Goverment Property Conference this morning, Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, announced that provisions were to be included in the Housing and Planning Bill that would required all local authorities to publish lists of their "surplus assets".  This is to include all council homes empty for over 6 months and other buildings empty over 2 years.

The government press release states:

The minister also revealed today that through the Housing and Planning Bill, local authorities would be required, for the first time, to report on their assets in a similar fashion. This will increase transparency by showing the public how they are rationalising their estates, with this helping councils deliver savings by...

Submitted by DLawrence on 28 Jan 2016 - 11:02

What has Pay to Stay got to do with empty properties I hear you ask? Well from a southern perspective possibly very little, but the further you go north the more there is a relationship between the two.

As any experienced practitioner will tell you, nothing comes as a surprise where owners of EPs are concerned, so when, in Rochdale, we audited ownership to check for benefit fraud it didn’t come as a shock that some EP owners also lived in social housing properties. So in the North we have owners who live in social rented properties and own other homes which are sometimes rented out but can often be long-term empty.

Pay to Stay basics

For those unfamiliar with Pay to Stay, and I include the Government in that list, the policy will be based around an income threshold above which the landlords can charge a market rent ( in the latest version it will be mandatory for council tenants and “ discretionary” for HA tenants,though clearly heavily...