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Unoccupied Properties in Scotland – a ‘Wasted Resource’ says HeirHunter, Daniel Curran

  • 6 months ago

Council tax data reveals that nearly 43,000 council-tax liable properties in Scotland have been unoccupied for six months or longer, contributing to the housing supply crisis.

“Long-term empty properties are a wasted resource at a time when Scotland urgently needs more homes,” states Daniel Curran, the founder and CEO of Finders International, a prominent firm specializing in identifying owners of vacant properties and locating next of kin for unclaimed estates.

Out of the 43,000 properties, 28,000 have been unoccupied for 12 months or more, making up roughly 1 per cent of all homes in Scotland. The issue is especially pronounced in island and rural council areas, as noted by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).

Empty for 12 Months or More

In regions such as Na h-Eileanan Siar, Shetland Islands, and the Highland Council, a significant percentage of dwellings remain vacant for over a year. This not only limits housing options but also leads to other societal concerns.

No Known Next of Kin

“The reasons behind unoccupied homes are multifaceted,” explains Daniel Curran. From the demise of property owners without leaving a will, to the soaring costs of renovation – these factors contribute to the burgeoning number of vacant homes. Moreover, the complexities involved in identifying the rightful heir further exacerbate the situation.

Vacant House Officers

To address this, many local authorities have appointed vacant house officers to assist in revitalizing these properties, offering guidance on renting, selling, or refurbishing them. Notably, homes left unoccupied for an extended period may incur up to double the standard council tax rate.

Affordable Housing Supply Programme

The Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme plays a pivotal role, enabling councils and housing associations to convert existing homes into affordable housing units, reflecting local needs and strategies.

Daniel Curran highlights the government’s commitment, as outlined in the Housing to 2040 strategy, to tackle the issue of unoccupied homes through comprehensive audits, support for the Empty Homes Partnership, and regulatory measures to encourage the rehabilitation of vacant properties.

Finders International has a proven track record of collaborating with local authorities to rejuvenate empty properties, as exemplified by a property that was vacant for a decade being renovated and sold for a substantial profit. Their expertise in clearing, refurbishing, and establishing clear legal titles to properties positions them as a key player in transforming vacant homes into valuable assets.

With Danny Curran’s team at Finders International, tracing owners to empty properties becomes a seamless process, offering a beacon of hope for housing and long-term investment opportunities in Scotland.

Contact Finders International to learn more about how they can assist in transforming unoccupied properties into vibrant homes.

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