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Councils Spending Millions Maintaining Vacant Properties

Maintaining buildings that are being used is costly enough, but at least as an owner or landlord you’re getting use from them and bringing in rent. However, it was recently revealed that local authorities around the country are spending millions each year maintaining empty properties.

Business Weekly revealed that Scotland has the worst record for vacant properties, with 1,146 empty premises owned by councils in the country.

Next on the list was the East of England, which has 964 empty council-owned properties. The TaxPayers’ Alliance carried out the research, using figures from official tax records.

The news provider noted that, throughout the UK, 6,047 council-owned properties were declared vacant for all or part of the time between January 2016 and December 2017. It’s estimated that it cost just over £74 million to provide security, maintenance, insurance and renovation for these buildings.

While the cost of maintaining such properties and providing security was relatively small in the grand scheme of things, coming in at £8 million for each area, the cost of renovations is considerably higher.

Councils splashed out £56.8 million renovating vacant commercial properties during this period.

Chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance John O’Connell said that you’d expect there to be a cost involved with maintaining and securing commercial property for future tenants. However, he added: “Many people will be startled by the total cost of maintaining empty properties and want an explanation as to why these haven’t been used or sold by the council.”

Any council that is planning to maintain an empty property should ensure it’s in the best possible condition after the last tenants have left.

Using Giromax products for roofing and cladding on any property that needs refurbishing will mean it stays in a good condition and that the exterior at least is ready for new tenants to move in.

Giromax products are UV resistant, waterproof and corrosion resistant, and they are covered by a warranty, which makes them a good choice for councils that may be concerned about future costs if they make repairs to the premises before they have a tenant lined up.

The UK government is currently looking for ways to actively reduce the number of vacant properties on the country’s high streets.

Earlier this month, it announced that it was putting £675 million into its Future High Streets Fund, with the aim to help local councils “reinvent” their town centres.

The fund isn’t going to be used to pay for any construction works, but money will be made available to local councils to help them work up detailed project proposals. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will focus its attention on “shovel ready” projects.

That means it’s looking for schemes that are almost ready to go, but that just need a bit of extra help to get them off the ground.

For councils with vacant properties on local high streets, this approach could help them kill two birds with one stone, namely that they’re able to find tenants for previously empty premises and revitalise the high street in the process.

If you need Giromax contractors for a project you’re working on, contact us today.

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“We have used CJ Paint Spraying a couple of times for on site spraying services along with repairs to our external cladding. All of the work they have completed for us has been spot on! It always looks brand new, and the teams are friendly and professional, we couldn't recommend enough.”

David Netherway 14th March 2018