Property protection – a burning issue for Housing Associations

A look at how property protection specialist Ad Hoc Property Management helps Housing Associations across the UK.

Across the UK, there are roughly 200,000 properties that have been long term empty, many belonging to housing associations. With crime rates on the rise, many people are not wanting to live in certain areas, and the empty properties in these areas are only adding to the problem as they are a magnet for a range of anti-social behaviour. This not only creates direct costs to remedy the effects of vandalism, fly-tipping, arson and theft, but areas are becoming ‘no-go zones’, producing an indirect cost and causing impact on the economy.

Housing associations look after both ‘Management Voids’ which are empty properties they are looking to fill, and ‘Non-Management Voids’ which are properties due for demolition. Both types of properties regularly fall victim to anti-social behaviour, but for more than 12 years in the UK, Ad Hoc, Europe’s leading empty property protection specialists, have been helping Housing Associations successfully tackle this.

Between the company’s innovative ‘Property Guardian’ model, and its ‘armoury’ of smart alarms, smart camera towers, Ad Hoc provides a cost-effective solution to a growing problem Housing Associations are facing.

Guardianship can be particularly effective for Housing Associations since ‘live-in Guardians’ act as a powerful deterrent to criminals. This also has a wider effect of reducing crime rates and making local communities feel safer. Properties which are due for demolition, for example large blocks of flats, may have some occupied and some unoccupied units. But, Guardians can move into these unoccupied units to ensure the threat of squatting and vandalism is removed and historic tenants feel safer.

Where properties have been successfully filled by housing associations, they are often faced with added costs. In accommodations with three or more bedrooms, associations are forking out for bedroom tax on top of council tax, as many tenants cannot afford the bills. With funding to Housing Associations continually being cut, these costs are an added burden, but can be mitigated by Ad Hoc’s licensee Guardians.

With sheltered housing in recent years, the government has cut funding dramatically resulting in several large buildings with multiple rooms closing. This can result in similar consequences, however with Ad Hoc quickly occupying these units with Guardians, squatting and other forms of anti-social behaviour can be easily avoided.

It’s a win/win situation for everyone involved. Housing associations are able to protect and often fill their void units while saving on associated costs, and Ad Hoc are able to extend their portfolio of living spaces available to potential licensees. For existing residents, there are less vacant units attracting anti-social behaviour in their communities and more professional people are able to live affordably as Guardians around the country.

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