Some councils are now starting to offer owners of empty homes low-interest loans to make their properties habitable as part of a pilot scheme.
In return, the owners must commit to renting their properties out, at an affordable rent, for at least five years. Affordable rent is defined as 80% of the local market rent. Homes will also have to be renovated to at least the Decent Homes Standard.
The 12-month pilot scheme for the National Empty Homes Loan Fund was launched towards the end of last year. Loans are limited to about £10,000 per home, but with some flexibility.
However, some councils are offering far more generous schemes.
For example, in west London, Ealing Council is running a scheme where owners can apply for a grant for up to 100% of the cost of repairs – to a maximum of £30,000 – as long as the homes have been empty for more than six months. The property must be habitable within 12 months of the grant being approved.
The council will also offer grants of up to £25,000 for owners who will allow their properties to be managed by a registered social landlord for five years.
In Croydon, the council is offering empty property loans of up to £54,000 for a three-bedroom property and £44,000 for a two-bedroom property. The loans are for no longer than two years.
Several councils are also offering a free ‘matchmaking’ service to connect owners of empty homes in disrepair with people who want to buy and renovate them.
Article courtesy of Landlord Today