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SOMA Housing Co-Op

logo of SOMA Housing Co-Operative Ltd and link to their web site
SOMA Housing Co-Op


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Short Life Housing

What is short life housing?

We are looking for any properties that are empty and have either a short life on the property (e.g. there may be plans to demolish the property in the relatively near future for development of the land) or they are hard to let/run down. We are also interested in new properties which are proving hard to sell. We are interested in such properties from either the private sector or the social housing sector.

We want to negotiate leases with agents/landlords/owners (we will refer to all these as 'owners') which will benefit both parties.

Why are we looking for 'short life housing'?

We have formed a Housing Co-Operative to enable us to be more self determining about where and how we live. Our long term plans are to acquire land and build according to our needs and create an 'intended community'.

However, there are some members of our Housing Co-Op who have more pressing housing needs. These members are presently vulnerable as regards their housing and may face homelessness in the very near future. We are therefore looking for some relatively short term solutions to these member's housing needs.

How can this be of benefit for owners of such properties?

  1. The lease will be for a fixed period of time (x years) and we will guarantee that the money is paid regardless of any void weeks/months in the property.

  2. We are offering to do any work required to make the property ready to live in. If a property requires extensive reparation, we can carry out the work to building regulation standards. However, a longer contract will be necessary.

  3. The longer a property stands empty the more it will deteriorate and the more it is vulnerable to various forms of vandalism. We will put a tenant(s) in and keep the property in good repair and return it to the owner in a better state than it was at the beginning. This usually adds value to a property.

  4. The owner of an empty property is legally liable for Council Tax on the property. Giving us a lease on the property will transfer that liability to the Housing Co-Op.

  5. Owners of newly built homes are entitled to a six month exemption from any council tax charge, provided their property remains vacant (unoccupied and unfurnished) for this period. After this period, the full council tax charge becomes payable by the owner until the property is sold or someone moves in. That could be someone from our Housing Co-Op.

  6. The owner can start to receive an income from a property that is a problem and costing them money.

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