Empty Homes Assistance
Financial assistance could be available to private landlords, improving housing conditions and bringing homes into use in the private rental market.
This Fund gives financial assistance to private landlords and owners to bring empty homes back into use and improve housing conditions within the district.
About the fund
The maximum fund available is £5000 per property with its main focus being centred around owners bringing their empty home back into use and to provide a source of good quality rented accommodation for those in need.
Eligible properties must have been unoccupied and unfurnished for at least 6 months prior to the date of the application. The vacant period is to be evidenced by council tax bills showing the relevant exemption.
Eligible applicants must be the owners of the empty home or people representing the owners' interest (such as an executor of a will). The following conditions apply:
- Consideration of a tenant from the Council's housing register
- The Property must be intended for the private rental market
- Rents will be set at no higher than Local Housing Allowance Rates for a period of 3 years
- The council will carry out a survey at the property
- Commitment of work must be evidenced prior to funds being released
- The property when completed will meet the Decent Homes Standard
- The property must be brought back into use within 12 months
- A Land Registry Charge will be applied to the property for 5 years from completion
- The Fund is to be fully repaid if the property is not occupied within the 12 months of the fund payment or the property is sold within 5 years of completion
- The property must not be rented to a member of the owner's family during the 3 year period
If an empty property has a potential buyer who wishes to apply for the fund with the intention to let out the property, the council will use discretion in these cases, however exchange of contract must take place within an agreed period.
Eligible cost the fund could pay for
Capital repair cost to the property, for example:
- A new heating system; where there is no existing heating, the heating is broken, inefficient or inappropriate for the property
- Electrical work where a full rewire or extensive remedial work is required
- Roof repairs or re-roofing
- Replacement windows and doors
- Material costs
- Contractor's labour costs.
Ineligible costs not to be paid for by the fund
Professional fees not related to the labour or materials of the improvement work, for example:
- Estate agent fees
- Surveyor fees
- Architect fees
- Works expected to be covered by a standard building insurance
- Repairs to sheds outbuildings or appurtenances
- Works on land drainage
- Where works have been completed at the time of enquiry
Legal and financial advice
Applicants should seek their own legal advice regarding the Local Land Charge which will be placed on the property and their own financial advice regarding the fund.
Legionella and empty properties
Landlords have responsibilities to assess the risk of exposure of their tenants to Legionella and implement appropriate control measures. Most residential properties will be low risk, however, where a property has been empty there may be an increased risk as water may have stagnated in pipework. Click here for more information about Legionella and rented properties.
For information on the assessment criteria and conditions of the fund please see application form below.
|[225kb]||Empty Homes Application - editable||Empty Homes Application - editable|
The documents in this section are in Adobe Acrobat format (pdf). You will need Acrobat Reader to view these files which can be downloaded from the Adobe website free of charge.