Should Landlords Invest In Empty Properties?
A recent report released by the Local Government Association, in collaboration with the Empty Homes Network, has shown how empty homes within the UK have risen by 10% in the last 5 years, equating to 1% of the nation’s housing stock. The data shows that more than one million properties across England in 2022 were unoccupied, an increase of nearly 60,000 homes since 2018.
Supply of Affordable Housing
In 2013, we saw the introduction of an empty homes premium in order to encourage owners to bring empty properties back into use. However, these efforts by the council haven’t yielded the expected results as numbers continue to rise across the UK. Whilst many of the empty homes haven’t yet reached deterioration, each empty home removes a property from the housing market, contributing towards the housing crisis.
The supply of safe and affordable housing should be considered in this time of need; according to the LGA, there are currently more than one million people on council housing waiting lists and 104,000 households living in temporary accommodation. Bringing just 10% of these empty homes back into use could help to find permanent homes for these households in temporary accommodation.
Adam Cliff, Secretary and Policy Lead for the Empty Homes Network, has said: “At a time where the demand housing is so high, working to bring empty homes back into use can not only support meeting this need, but can encourage inward investment, improve communities and enhance the lives of those who currently live near empty homes.
Investing In Empty Properties
As a landlord, buying an empty property may provide an interesting investment. Whilst empty properties will most likely require some sort of repair or renovation, they often sell for well below the market price. Furthermore, government funding for refurbishing unused properties is available. Although it can be a lengthy process to obtain this funding, the benefits of refurbishing an older property can be significant.
Working with a Guaranteed Rent Scheme can be really beneficial as a landlord if you have invested in an empty property; not only will you aid the social housing crisis, a Guaranteed Rent Scheme, such as that at Elliot Leigh Guaranteed Rent, offers rent upfront and a guaranteed rental income even if the property remains empty. On top of this, no furniture is required and we offer free refurbishments when tenants move out. Find out more benefits of our Guaranteed Rent Scheme here.