Despite the fact that London is one of the busiest cities on the planet, the statistics on empty homes are startling. Across the city there are over 80,000 vacant properties, with 25,000 of these falling into the ‘long term’ category. This makes London the nation’s empty home hotspot! In England as a whole, there are over 610,000 empty homes. Thankfully, two London entrepreneurs are on a mission to solve the nation’s empty property crisis and help create homes, and profits.
“It’s no secret adequate housing is at a major premium for thousands of Londoners and its significance is that there’s never really been a general consensus to tackle the issue until now,” explain the boys.
Ben Radstone and Nick Kalms are London locals and co-founders of innovative new enterprise, YouSpotProperty.com. With a portfolio of over 100 bought and sold properties across the capital, the site rewards members who report empty, rundown or derelict properties in their local area. YouSpotProperty.com then buys up the homes, renovates them and puts them back on the market. In exchange for their help, YouSpotProperty.com rewards its sources with £20 vouchers, as well as 1% of the purchase price. A further £500 is donated to a local community charity which gives the entire operation a socially conscious edge.
According to the gents, the key reason behind unoccupied homes is unaddressed social issues. It can often be extremely difficult to track down the owners f derelict property and even if they can be traced, they’re often reluctant to renovate, rent or sell.
“Relatives that inherit these homes do not realise their value and are often not sure what to do with them (if they’re even in the country) – especially if the houses are in a state of disrepair, so it’s often easier to sit on the property,” they say.
With London property prices on the rise, Radstone and Kalms believe that the nation as a whole should be able to reap the benefits of the booming market. Their rewards based scheme does just this, allowing people to help rejuvenate their local neighbourhoods, as well as earn extra income in the process. Matthew Philpott of South London is the latest local to enjoy the benefits, receiving a total of £8,800.
“YouSpotProperty.com was borne out of a desire to do something about the increasing empty homes situation and moreover, a desire to finally share in the rewards of this property boom, which only really repays a few privileged individuals.”
While it can sometimes be a good option to sell, landlords that are determined to hang onto their empty properties are strongly advised to take out unoccupied property insurance. This covers a range of specific ‘unoccupied’ risks and ensures that landlords and their properties remain safe, insured and profitable.