It has been suggested that local authorities should make use of existing empty homes in their districts

Many already try to do this. However, progress is slow. Persuasion alone is rarely enough to talk owners into letting or selling their empty properties. Legal procedures can be protracted and costly and, at the moment, many local authorities simply don’t have funding or resources for this.

If the government is serious about the problem, perhaps it should bankroll councils so they can afford to acquire wasted homes through compulsory purchase. It would probably only take a few such acquisitions for empty property owners to think again and bring their property to market for sale or to let.

Condition should not be a bar to sale (though it may be to letting) – there are still plenty of people out there willing to take on renovation projects at the right price.

Jenny J