Neglect (Photo: Brent Council)
Press release from Brent Council (Unedited)
Two homes that suffered years of neglect have been transformed by their new owners after Brent stepped in to help.
A detached house in Kenton and an end of terrace home in Kingsbury were sold to new owners last year following action taken by the council’s empty property team.
Squatters, dumped rubbish, prostitution and rats were among the numerous problems reported by neighbours when the homes were abandoned and left to fall into a state of disrepair over many years. But last year the council successfully sold the properties after taking legal action.
“Letting an empty home turn into a blight on the neighbourhood is absolutely unacceptable, especially when housing is so sought after within our borough,” said Councillor Promise Knight, Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renters Security. “I am glad that these two properties have been turned around and that people will be living in them again.”
Empty properties often become noticeable when they fall into a state of disrepair, causing problems for neighbouring properties. A home might be empty if the windows have been broken for a long time, the post has not been collected, or the windows and doors have been boarded up and the rooms are always in darkness.
As part of Empty Homes Week, the council wants to encourage owners of empty properties to bring them back into use and is highlighting the grants available to them. An owner of a two-bedroom property could receive up to £26,000 in grant aid for refurbishment or conversion works, and a potential average rental income of £14,500 per year. The owner of a commercial property could receive a grant of £156,000 for four or more units.
“We can also provide advice and assistance and support to all owners of empty properties in the borough,” said Councillor Knight. “Our empty property page on the council’s website has information about eligibility criteria and how to apply for a grant, or to contact the Empty Property Team”
CALL TO ACTION
- To report an empty property in Brent, email: email@example.com or call 020 8937 2384 choose option 1, then option 4.
- If you have an empty property and want to apply for a grant, or need help and advice to bring it back into use, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8937 2384 choose option 1, then option 4. You can also visit the empty property page on the council’s website.
Editor's comment: I will be reporting two Brent Council homes in Willesden Green, still empty after refurbishment months ago.