According to, there are around 920,000 empty properties in the UK, of which approximately 330,000 have been empty for more than six months. Given the scarcity of housing in the UK, this figure may seem high to some. But with so many empty properties around, there are numerous opportunities for those who wish to rescue a house or flat, perhaps to do up and sell, or maybe to live in themselves.

The rewards of rescuing a property can be huge, but care must be taken to avoid the pitfalls. In the following posts we will cover some of the most important points to consider.

Before you begin

  • You may wish to add a huge extension to a certain tumble-down cottage, but if there are legal restrictions or the building is listed, you may not be able to carry out your plans. Before buying a property, make sure you fully understand any such restrictions.
  • Take the time to make a realistic budget. You don’t want to run out of money half-way through a project, as this could leave you without a liveable home. Rescuing a home can be done for relatively little money, but you have to factor in the  substantial drain on your time, and the effects this might have on any other jobs you have, as well as on your loved ones.
  • Choose a team of architects, builders and electricians who you can trust to give you a fair price and who will do the work well.
  • Consider what materials you will use for the project. Environmentally friendly materials, cost and ease-of-procurement are issues you may wish to think about. Some rural areas may have a code as regards the type of materials used; a certain stone cladding may be required in particular locales, for instance.
  • Research possible grants. Many government and non-government bodies support bringing properties back on to the market, and may offer financial assistance to help you do so.


Be sure to read our forthcoming articles on rescuing a property. offers competitively-priced unoccupied property insurance, giving you the peace of mind to help you complete your project.