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Cottage in Bath - converted to help those in need

Working in partnership to fill an empty home and help people in need of housing.

The empty property in this case is a small, two bedroom cottage, located on the outskirts of Bath.

The owner had been trying to sell the property for several months, without success.  Following an introduction made by Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Empty Homes Officer the owner decided to lease the cottage to local charity Developing Health & Independence (DHI). Through Home Turf Lettings - its not-for-profit property management service - DHI took on a long-term lease under which it committed to pay the owner a guaranteed monthly rent and to maintain the property in good condition.

The property was inspected by a member of the council’s Housing Services team to ensure that it met rental standards. They provided Home Turf Lettings and the owner with a schedule of the works needed to ensure that the accommodation was safe and legal for rental.

Home Turf Lettings launched in April 2012, with a mission to increase the supply of affordable housing for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed. The owner was keen to work with Home Turf because she would receive a guaranteed rental income but would not have to experience the anxieties some people associate with becoming a landlord. She said, “The support I’ve received from Home Turf Lettings, to prepare the cottage for rental, has been exemplary,” adding: “I am delighted that the cottage is providing a home for people in need”.

The result of this close partnership working is that individuals who were previously homeless have now been housed and a property which was empty is now reoccupied.

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In South Gloucestershire 181 empty properties were returned to use in 2012/13!
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