Bringing empty homes back into use

Liberty’s voids team has enabled landlord ForHousing to beat its targets for getting empty homes back into use, improving lives and creating new possibilities for hundreds of families.

The business aims to provide a complete solution for turning around empty residential and commercial properties and get them back on the market in the most efficient and cost effective way.

This means the majority of void properties are ready for people to move in well within the target of 11 days set by ForHousing, unless major repairs are needed.

Explaining the smart and straightforward process the team takes to achieve and exceed its targets, Liberty’s Utilities Officer, Colin Cooper, said: “One of the key ways we work to turn voids around is to eradicate debts from electric meters when a property is empty.

“This is so that electricians can carry out full electrical live tests and ensure any problems are solved so that a safety certificate can be issued. Through a rolling contract with British Gas we can then switch an account over to them in return for credit on the meter and access to engineers when issues arise.

“This process not only helps to speed up the turnaround time by enabling customers to have electricity and gas live in the property when they move in but means that the vast majority of properties are also in credit.”

Liberty also repairs and refurbishes homes to high standards for future tenants, and is on hand throughout tenancies to provide a comprehensive repairs service.

Mark Lowe, Director of Assets at ForHousing, said: “Liberty’s dedicated voids repair team plays an important part in ForHousing’s mission to provide great homes and strong communities through its innovative approach to void management.

“The team works closely with our asset management and neighbourhoods teams to ensure properties meet or exceed our required re-let standards. They are also able to prioritise urgent void repairs so that we can better support those at risk of homelessness by enabling them to move into new homes faster.”

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