1     Statement of Intent

1.1   Kingdom is committed to the principles of sustainability and will
      endeavour to develop fair and consistent policies, procedures and

1.2   In line with Kingdom’s commitment to equality and diversity, this policy
      can be made available in a variety of formats, including large print,
      translated into another language or on audio tape. Reasonable
      adjustments will also be made to assist individuals who have a

1.3   We aim to keep the period that a property is empty as short as possible
      to meet housing need and to minimise rental loss.

2     General Principles

2.1   The Empty Property management process begins when we become
      aware that a property is likely to become vacant.

2.2   This policy, and the related procedures, aim to:

         •   Retain high relet standards and maximise tenant satisfaction

         •   Minimise the number of empty properties

         •   Minimise the period for which properties are empty

         •   Minimise the cost of empty property repairs

         •   Minimise rental loss

         •   Reduce rechargeable repairs by undertaking exit
             inspections and encouraging outgoing tenants to rectify
             identified repairs themselves

         •   Provide relevant support and advice in an effort to ensure
             sustainable tenancy and so reduce turnover

3     Targets and Performance Standards

3.1   We expect tenants to give 28 days written notice of termination.

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3.2    We will write to the tenant within one calendar day of receiving their
       termination notice to advise them of their termination date and of any
       outstanding charges they may have.

3.3    We will notify all the relevant departments of the forthcoming empty
       property and up date the system within one calendar day of receipt of

3.4     We will check for any new terminations twice weekly and will start
       looking for a new tenant as soon as possible.

3.5    We aim to have an applicant identified for a forthcoming empty property
       before the outgoing tenant hands back their keys.

3.6    We will arrange pre termination inspections, where possible, within two
       days to assess the condition of the property and highlight to the tenant
       any work that they need to do before handing back their keys.

3.7    We will aim to carryout the Change of Tenancy inspection within two
       working days of the keys being returned by the tenant and have the
       repair work completed within 22 days.

3.8    We will aim to arrange viewings within three calendar days of the
       property becoming suitable for viewing.

3.9    Where possible we will carryout the viewing within three calendar days.

3.10   We will ensure that all properties will have a live gas/electricity supply
       when allocated.

3.11   We will aim carryout allocations on the same day that a property
       becomes ready to let.

       New Developments

3.12   All relevant departments will liaise through out the build process at
       timescales designated in the relevant procedure.

3.13   We will aim to interview applicants three months prior to the projected
       handover date.

3.14   We will allocate the properties within five days of the handover of the
       keys from the developer.

4      Difficult to Let Properties

4.1    A property which is deemed difficult to let is a property where one or
       more of the following conditions apply:

          •   There is a small or non-existent waiting list for the property

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         •    Offers of tenancy are refused frequently for reasons other than
              personal reasons

         •    There is a higher than normal rate of tenancy turnover for
              properties in that area

4.2   We will report properties in this category separately in the APSR.

4.3   Where there are no waiting lists or applicants on the list do not wish to
      be considered for the property we will:

         •    Liaise with appropriate agencies to try to identify suitable

         •    Advertise the property on our website

         •    Advertise in relevant local public offices

         •    Advertise through relevant press publications

5     Monitoring and Review

5.1   We will use our IT system to:

          •   Monitor the progress of empty properties

          •   Provide analysis of the empty property process for reporting

5.2   We will produce monthly reports to allow management to monitor
      targets and identify and address exceptions.

5.3   We will look to benchmark with comparable organisations.

5.4   We will carry out post allocation surveys to measure new tenant
      satisfaction with the empty property process and will use the results to
      ensure that standards are maintained and improved upon.

5.5   We will produce quarterly for the Committee of Management detailing
      performance times for empty properties in repair and management.

5.6   We will review targets on an annual basis and this will form part of our
      Key Performance Indicators.

5.7   We will make details of our performance in the management of Empty
      Properties available to tenants, prospective tenants and stakeholders.

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5.8   We will record reasons for terminations and refusals in order that we
      can take effective action to keep refusals and terminations to a

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                        EMPTY PROPERTY POLICY

Policy drawn up with reference to:

Housing Scotland (2001) Act

Reference made to the following sources and other guidance:

SFHA Raising Standards in Housing
Housing Management Standards of the Chartered Institute of Housing
The Scottish Housing Regulator self assessment performance standards:
Void management

Cross Reference to Performance Standards for social landlords and
homelessness functions: Guiding Standards GS1.2, GS3.1, GS3.2, GS3.4,
and AS1.5

Prepared by: Alison Paterson

Current Policy dated 2005

Draft 1 Directors Review/Discussion by circulation

Policy audited by Kingdom’s solicitors

Sub Committee Review of Policy

Presented for approval to Committee of Management on

Policy Approved Yes/No

Next review date:

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