Finding your perfect property Once you start looking, you’ll see just how many unoccupied properties there are in the UK; with one in 20 being empty, opportunities are everywhere.
- Local council: Most councils have a list of empty properties, and may share the information with you freely; others may not. If they do not, you have the legal right to request the information in writing under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
- Estate agents: While they are unlikely to have them in their windows, many estate agents have empty properties on their books. Be sure to ask them – they could have just what you are looking for.
- Internet auctions: Look for specialised auctions set up online, or websites that specialise in unoccupied properties.
- Land for sale: Buildings are often found on land for sale – but are in such a poor state that the owner expects the buyer to demolish them. However, some buildings can be saved.
Who is the owner? Finding out who owns a property is usually quite simple. You could ask the neighbours, or if that fails you can contact the Land Registry for the area of the UK that you live in. England and Wales: www.landregisteronline.gov.uk Registers of Scotland Executive Agency is: www.ros.gov.uk Land Registry of Northern Ireland: www.landwebni.gov.uk. Help from your local authority Local authorities usually employ an officer dedicated to getting unoccupied properties back in use. Their job is to persuade owners that a property is better off being used than standing empty. This person may also have contacts who can help you locate other empty properties. In some cases a property owner can be forced to sell up by way of:
- A compulsory purchase order
- Enforced sale – if the owner owes the council money.
- Public Request to Order Disposal – whereby a local authority can be forced to sell properties they have left empty for a long time
Don’t miss our forthcoming posts on property rescue. If you already have an empty property but do not have unoccupied property insurance, why not get a quote from Click4quote.com today and get covered?