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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Company selling refurbed homes gives finders' fees to 'property spotters'

A firm that buys derelict homes in London, refurbishes them and then sells them on the open market is rewarding individuals with a substantial finder’s fee if they tip them off about the location of suitable properties.

The company is Youspotproperty.com and a spokesman, Nick Kalms, has told BBC Radio 4 that his firm has refurbished properties for resale for a decade but has taken off by involving the public.

When a tip-off is given about a property that proves to be derelict, the individual identifying the home gets £20. The firm then tries to track down the owner and negotiate a purchase. If this happens and the home is then refurbished and sold, the ‘property spotter’ goes on to get a reward equivalent to one per cent of the purchase price paid by the firm.

BBC Radio 4 has also spoken with a ‘spotter’ who was paid £8,800 - one per cent of the £880,000 which Youspotproperty paid for a derelict home.

When the firm completes a successful sale it also donates £500 to a local charity based in the same borough as the property.

There are an estimated 200,000 homes in England alone which have been empty for six months or longer.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    "When the firm completes a successful sale it also donates £500 to a local charity based in the same borough as the property."

    Yes, this really is refreshing and something that restores my faith slightly in the property industry. As well as this, bringing empty homes back into use - as long as these homes are turned into affordable housing - is one way of dealing with the massive supply issue. We keep hearing of the need to build many more houses. While that also needs to happen, on a massive scale too, why aren't we making more of the existing stock we have? It's madness, isn't it?

    Two big ticks for Youspotproperty.com from me. Well done.

  • Karl Knipe

    Bringing empty homes back into use should be part of a two-pronged attack by the government to try and ease the housing shortage. The other thing being, of course, building more houses. As you point out, Jon, we have all this existing stock that we're not making best use of. And not just empty homes, but brownfield sites too.

    With a bit of innovation and clever planning, we could bring a lot of stock back into use. Of course, this should then be made affordable so we don't then have the issue of houses being out of the reach of too many first-time buyers.

    We can bury our heads in the sand or we can use a bit of initiative and solve the lack of supply at its root.

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    • 30 June 2015 12:29 PM

    Surprised that we haven't heard of these guys sooner. A great idea which is likely to put empty property to good use, whilst also rewarding local charities! A big thumbs up from me.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    Spotting and reporting derelict houses? Could this be my new occupation?! What an interesting and innovation way of reducing the number of derelict buildings!

  • Neil Briggs

    Yes, this is a great idea and one way of bringing supply and demand much closer together. There are simply too many homes that aren't in use. Surely, with the housing shortage, it makes sense to do all we can to bring this existing stock back into being.

  • John Corey

    Is there a legal issue when paying someone who is not a registered estate agent a fee based on a successful completion of a sale? Paying for information (address of possible derelict property) which is not conditional on the sale taking place if fine. Paying 1% if there is a sale sounds like something that falls under the Estate Agency Act. Any estate agents or lawyers listening and know about the Act?

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