clottie wrote: I would welcome it even more if local authorities used their Empty Homes legislation to allow abandoned properties to be returned to the market place for rental or sale.
I have a fundamental issue with this concept in the context of deep seated corruption. In recent years I have seen a number of properties that were historically 'bequeathed' to the people that have been allowed to decline and then sold off by the local authority. One particular high profile incident resulted in private reward monies being put up for the finder of the original deeds. Last known location? You've got it, the local authority. Their stance was that the deeds stated that the building and the land it stood on was left 'for the use of the people of ...' and as such, belonged to them. As the building had been severely vandalised (post poor maintenance - closure - lack of security) it what no longer in the public interest to maintain. As such, they sold the land to a developer for social housing. Arguably, the council tax payers should see a benefit from the income but this is negligible to say the least.
If these rights were championed, I fear that empty homes would be sold, off market to a small number of 'developers' at rock bottom prices with kick backs a plenty.