Empty properties in Brockley

At a time of rising rents in Brockley, it's exasperating to learn that local homes are being left empty. A BCer who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

We have had for several years now an empty flat in our building (a Victorian conversion with few flats). We're worried about lots of issues - loss of heat, the risk of someone breaking in and problems with condition of the building have all been concerns for us and the other  people that live in the for a long time.

We are in touch with the council and they are helping us trying to get the issue sorted. Fortunately the council is being really helpful and supporting us on trying to get the flat occupied. We are not pushing the owners to sell it, but wouldn't it be nice for all of us if they could rent it out? They get a lovely income and we get neighbours!

Anyway I am just wondering if this is an issue that is present elsewhere, or if it is just us being unlucky. Have people seen many empty properties in the area and has anyone been through the same experience with a landlord and the council?

I would love to hear from people in the area, whether this is a one off or something that concerns us all?

13 comments:

Peter Thornton said...

There's the issue with the empty (and un-renovated) flats above the Corals in Ladywell. There are also some boarded up properties in St Johns - there's one on Friendly Street I think.

EdG said...

There are some success stories though. The large Victorian detached house near the corner of Brockley Grove/Brockley Road, Crofton Park is being brought back into use as residential property after being empty for many years. Thanks to Lewisham Council’s Empty Homes Manager, Nick Long and the 'PHASES' People Housing and Social Enterprise Scheme. Work on the building started in October 2012.
Check out the work of the PHASES on http://www.phases.org.uk/5news.html and see photos of the near derelict property in Brockley Grove before work started here: http://www.phases.org.uk/brockleygrove/.

Anonymous said...

We have an entire empty property near us (don't want to state exactly where). It should be two flats in a converted terrace house. The landlord also uses the gardens (back and front) as a rubbish dump. The council are apparently on his case to refurbish and rent out the flats. Does anyone know what powers they have in this respect?

AnonAnon said...

There is a basement flat, just down from us. It's council owned and run by Hyde Housing and has been empty for several years? It did go up for sale at auction a few months back, as I managed to get a viewing on it. It's not in too bad a nick, but does require work, but that's all I know. So I won't presume anything thing, other than it's still vacant now... why who knows.

Martin said...

There are several empty houses in St Johns - on Ashmead Road there is a large Victorian terraced house which has been vacant for years. This despite the fact that other similar houses have sold for 600k +

Goc said...

Owners of empty properties should consider guardianship...incredibly cheap to free rent, guardians pay bills only, and owners get their property occupied by people to help avoid squating, and depletion of the property. There appears to be a rather large house on Tyrwhitt Road using guardianship which is great news for people who wish to live in this area but could not possible afford the extortionate rental costs.

AliAlAfro said...

The property in EdG mentions is on a very conspicuous section of road just next to the parade and the refurbishments to what was a burnt out wreck of a property have cheered up that corner of crofton park so much. Credit to Lewisham Council if it was them that sorted this out. Better late than never - More of that please.

AliAliAfro said...

Whilst its an issue that is worth rasing and discussing, there is a danger that these comments become a vacant property guide for any local squatters. Hopefully the council will jump on the case urgently before the squatters get busy... [said whilst not holding breath]

jamie said...

I'd be interested in renting! If it comes up


jamierichfield@gmail.com

Chuffy said...

I have an un-empty flat to let in Breakspears Road, it's 2 bedrooms (1 single 1 double) and is going for £300 per week (ONO). email FlatSE4@gmail.com if you'd like the details...

rental property said...

It was a pleasure to read your blog. Good luck with everything.

houses for rent


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Location said...

Squatting is now a criminal offence for residential properties, so I guess anyone with a long standing empty property simply has to call the police if they notice people have moved in and are putting the property to use.


There should be law against deliberately taking housing stock out of use for years on end. Presumably these are owned by absentee property companies? Or have the owners simply forgotten about them?

John Hamilton said...

Readers will remember that Lewisham People Before Profit took action to prevent the sale of long term empty properties that Lewisham Council was trying to sell off cheaply at auction in February 2012. We occupied them, put a family of 5 into one after bringing it up to suitable standard and have "squatters" looking after the others. The Mayor agreed to all our demands last May (that they be refurbished using local tradespeople and include apprenticeships and then be made available to people on the housing waiting list) and I am pleased to report that, after rather a long delay, we have met with Lewisham Homes who will be sending in surveyors shortly to assess the exact work required. We have always stressed our desire to co-operate with the council in bringing these homes back into use and we have not had problems with the new anti-squatting law.
We also occupied three flats left empty for years by Hyde Housing Association and after some initial threats of legal action they agreed to co-operate and we vacated each one in turn to allow renovation.
If anyone would like us to help in occupying an empty place to put pressure on the owner to get on with letting, selling or refurbishing it just email john@PeopleBeforeProfit.org.uk or come and have a chat at our May Day event this coming Sunday, 28th April from 5 - 9 pm at the occupied Harts Lane Studios, Harts Lane, behind T K Maxx New Cross Gate.

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