Paul Wood – better known as Woody from the Woody & Kleiny prank videos – was stuck in traffic when he saw something that didn’t make sense so took a photo of it.

So far, so normal, except this time that picture earned him a massive £10,000.
“I was stuck in the worst ever traffic jam near Kilburn so decided to take a narrow side street, which left me gridlocked for about 25 minutes,” he told Mirror Money.
“Next to me, was a house which looked in a right state among many grand properties, and it made no sense.
“I took a snap of it, took note of the address, and thought it would be a bit of fun when I uploaded it to – a company I had seen in my Facebook stream for having rescued a number of houses in North London.”

Thousands of homes abandoned each year

Why are so many homes standing empty or derelict? Mostly it’s about complications around what happens when their owners die.

Danny Curran, chairman probate association IAPPR and founder of Finders International , said: “We’ve noted 17% increase in probate-related property cases since 2015 (inactive or deceased property owners). These houses therefore remain unoccupied for extended periods of time.

“The reasons are numerous, but the imbalanced property market over recent years has contributed to more empty homes stuck in probate.”

These are some of the key issues they’ve found that lead to homes ‘sitting empty’:
• Families hang onto these properties as they believe it’s a valuable asset for the future, but they often fall into disrepair in the interim.
• Families are cash strapped to fix properties up to the standards fit for profitable resale, so they remain locked up.
• Correspondence from councils can seem aggressive on one hand (if they issue compulsory purchase orders) on the other hand an irritation – whereby they implore owners to do something about it, but offer no support or solution. A solution to this is for councils to use trusted intermediary companies that have warmer approaches to the owners. Councils often struggle to track down family members who own these properties. We know this from our international members.
• Individuals holding onto these properties often ‘wait for the perfect timing’ – and in the past couple of years, for example, the housing market was buoyant in 2015 yet stalled in and around the referendum in June 2016.
• Another main contributor is physical or mental health issues, either of the owners or executors – individuals not having the capacity or inclination to make big legal and financial decisions. These issues can also include emotional attachments to the property in question.

See the full article here: