Tracing the owners of empty properties or their heirs is a key service we offer and can often be the first step in the process of bringing an empty home back into use.

Empty Homes practitioners work with us as we are efficient, knowledgeable, and easy to deal with. Crucially, we offer our services to Empty Homes officers and teams at local authorities at no cost. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

An empty property is first and foremost a wasted resource that could be used by an individual or a family currently in desperate need of a home. With 100,000 families currently in temporary accommodation, there is an urgent need for such housing stock.

Empty properties can also become dilapidated due to lack of maintenance, attract anti-social and criminal behaviour, and generally have a negative impact on the overall neighbourhood.

Why are there empty properties in the UK? Disregarding second homes and holiday properties, according to Action on Empty Homes there are currently almost 270,000 long-term empty properties across the country, a 20% increase since 2016.

Why A Property Stands Empty

There are a number of reasons why a property might be empty, some of these include:

  • The property owner (or their heirs) cannot be traced
  • The heirs do not want to deal with the administration of the estate which includes a property
  • The administration of the estate is yet to happen due to a contested will or some other contentious probate matter
  • The property owner is actually unaware or has forgotten that they are the legal owner
  • The owner does not have the funds to meet the maintenance costs or to repair or renovate
  • There is an ongoing ownership dispute
  • There are issues with accessing the property or land disputes
  • There are planning issues concerning the development of the property or restrictions on its use
  • The property is for sale at a price that is not attractive to potential buyers
  • The owner is unwilling to do anything with the property other than leaving it empty

As active members of the Empty Home Network, we are acutely aware of the challenges faced by those working in this specialist sector. We, therefore, focus our service on being transparent and approachable, aiming to save local authorities time, resource, and money.

In identifying a potential empty property, tracing the legal owners or their heirs is usually the first step in bringing that property back into use. Whilst this can at times be a straightforward matter, often it is not. This initial investigation can therefore make or break a project, so must be undertaken accurately and thoroughly; this is a time for experience and proven know-how.

As a probate genealogy and people tracing firm, we are highly experienced in successfully locating property owners (freeholders or landlords) or their heirs. By tracing a missing property owner, things can move forward, whether it is a long-term empty or a property that has more recently become vacant.

We love nothing more than being able to help kick start the process of bringing an empty home back into use, whether that is working directly with a local authority or other organisations in the private sector. By collaborating with us and putting your trust in our abilities, you can be confident that:

  • We will respond to your request proactively – it will not just sit on our desk for a few days; in fact, our commitment is to begin work on it as soon as practically possible
  • Our research will be diligent and thorough – most importantly, it will be research that you can rely on
  • We will report back to you as soon as we have news – we will not unduly delay updating you
  • After our work is complete, if you have any further queries on the case, we will be more than happy to help you
  • With more accredited genealogists than any other UK probate research company, we are a safe pair of hands in an uncertain world

We would be delighted to discuss your requirements with you and offer a no-obligation initial consultation – get in contact with us to find out how we can help.

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If we have contacted you it is because we believe you are entitled to a share of an inheritance. You may wish to take legal advice, but do get back to us as soon as you can.

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Our accredited genealogists offer accessible, transparent, and confidential services that are regulated by the Professional Paralegal Register.

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