You see, I'm the chap who comes along to these castles, when they are empty that is, and asks questions, like, "Why is your house empty?", "can I help you bring it back into use?", and, "When do you think you will have finished the works and got it occupied?".
Often I am asked, even when I am working on behalf of a local authority, "What the hell has it got to do with you?"
Well, several reasons, in the UK as a whole, nearly one million privately owned homes stand empty.
Thousands of people are on council waiting lists for a home, and we all know that the house builders are not building enough homes to meet demand.
So, we look to utilise empty homes, our motto, No home should be left empty longer than it needs to be.
Which leads to the question of the Castle.
Do we have any powers to take away these castles from their owners? Oh yes, S.17 1985 Housing Act is my favorite. The power for a local authority to Compulsorily Purchase an empty home for both qualitative and quantitative reasons.
Qualitative, its a derelict eyesore, OR Quantitative, there is demonstrable housing need and yet this home lies empty for no good reason.
So sometimes, the castle drawbridge has to come down and the castle taken by the dirty rascal, that would be me.
What do you think, should local authorities have empty home strategies where they question every owner of an empty homes to ascertain why it is empty? Should they have the power to take homes away from owners who are determined to do nothing?