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Getting a new life for empty properties

Published Thursday, 11 October 2012

Owners of empty properties in Enfield are being urged to get in touch with the Council to see what help is available to get their property back into use.

Homes

Enfield Council’s empty property department already brings about 50 properties a year back to life, but it is keen to encourage residents to report empty private properties so even more can be restored as homes.

Enfield has over 2,000 long term empty properties, many of which could be used as private rented homes.

Often rundown and neglected, empty properties attract burglary and vandalism and can become dangerous play areas for children. They can also seriously affect the value of neighbouring properties in the area.

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, cabinet member for housing, said, “For whatever reason owners abandon their property, we do our best to track them down and make them aware of the help that can be offered.

“The council can provide grants to cover up to 80% of the repair costs to bring the property back into use if the owner guarantees to rent out it for a period of five years to a family on our register.”

Empty property manager, Dave Carter, added, “The scheme provides property owners with a guaranteed rent and a professional management service and it helps us to house families in need of new accommodation.”

Enfield Council acts on reports of empty properties offering advice and assistance but bringing empty privately owned homes back into use needs everyone to help identify all empty properties in Enfield including those which are squatted.

It could be a house, flat or a property that has potential to become residential accommodation.

Cllr Oykener, urged, “If you own, live next door to or simply know of an empty property, please get in touch with us. A call could be the first step towards providing a home for one of Enfield’s 1,966 families waiting for permanent accommodation.”

Where property has been left empty for six months or more the council has powers to make a compulsory purchase.

Dave Carter, says, “We do have considerable powers but we prefer, wherever possible, to trace owners and work with them.”

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