Govt should 'help to renovate' empty properties

The government should do more to help to renovate empty properties across Britain, one specialist has insisted.

While the coalition has made a number of helpful changes in an effort to address the issue, it has neglected people who wish to take on empty properties and renovate them independently, a representative from Empty Homes has argued.

David Ireland, chief executive at the company, said: "There are a whole load of people out there who are very resourceful and who could fix up empty properties. If there was some help for them, then that would help enormously."

Mr Ireland underlined that, currently, many of the empty property measures are targeted at housing associations and councils.

Earlier this week, the Scottish government confirmed that a £2 million fund will be introduced to prevent vacant homes from blighting the country's communities.

The financial package was launched as part of the Unoccupied Properties Bill, which will enable local authorities to charge extra council tax on houses which have been empty for over a year.