Self-evidently, people need homes – we know from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that shelter is fundamental to physical safety, and many would agree that our life chances will be influenced by the quality of our home. Similarly, setting up a home is usually going to need a building – let’s call it a house. Likewise, houses need people to keep them going and, we hope, in good repair.
It is the lot of the Empty Homes Officer to monitor and tune each of these variables with a view to Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use. Many Empty Home cases are straightforward, and the properties are re-occupied in good time. On the other hand, pretty much every EHO will have horror stories starring uncooperative and / or borderline hostile people and featuring properties from the derelict to the highly desirable and everything in-between. Where owners are absent or deceased, the show can struggle to get on the road, with the delay to re-occupation sometimes being measured in years.
Increasingly, EHOs are asking us for help and support. Often it’ll be something as simple as confirming the present address of an absent owner, or obtaining a copy Grant of Probate of a deceased owner so they can see who to contact regarding re-occupation (the Grant will name the deceased owner’s Personal Representatives). In tricky cases like those outlined above, we have a great track record of working with the EHO and the owners or, where deceased, their Personal Representatives with the joint purpose of Bringing Empty Homes Back Into Use.
The heading of this piece is like a virtuous circle - could you use some help? You’re welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – it’s highly likely we can help.