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Empty Property Grants

By: Jennifer Lowe - Updated: 18 May 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Renovating An Empty Property Costs Of

There are over a million empty properties in the UK and through simply renovating them, the housing shortage issue could be significantly reduced. However, for many it is very difficult to find such properties, unless you simply happen to pass one, but once you do then there is help at hand to aid the renovation project.

If you do happen to stumble across one and are interested in renovating it, then the first thing you should do is contact the Land Registry. This will allow you to find out who the owner of the property is. It is sometimes the case that empty properties are part of a planning application, which you should also find out by contacting your local council.

Although, just because you may have found an empty property, doesn’t necessarily mean you can buy it. Even if the owner is willing to sell, you may come up against the council who often offer properties that are in deprived areas to those that are residents, or have a business in the area. In these cases, the potential owner would have to sign an agreement stating that they would stay in the area for a specified period.

This may seem like a bit of a hassle, but in return the council offer grants to help with the renovation costs.Renovation grants were introduced to provide financial assistance towards substantial repairs or improvements that need to be made to a property to make it fit for human habitation.

Homeowners, landlords and, in some cases, tenants, have access to a renovation grant, but they do come with very strict guidelines.

Granting Eligibility

These grants are provided at the discretion of your local authority and are means-tested. This basically means that the amount you will receive is dependent on your income, so the more you earn the less the grant will be.

There is, however, a maximum amount that can be awarded and this is £20,000 for owner-occupiers and tenants and between £10,000 and £15,000 per unit for landlords, although, this is dependent on the landlords overall plan of letting of the property.

To be eligible for the grant, the property itself must have been built more than 10 years ago, can’t be a second or holiday home and, in the case of owner-occupier applications, it has to have been unoccupied by you for at least three years before you make the initial grant request.

There are also some conditions to the grants being offered which have to be adhered to for 10 years by owner-occupiers and five years for landlords.If the conditions are breached at any point during this time then the grant must be repaid to the council that awarded it. This also applies if the property is sold within the condition period.

Work in Progress

Renovations that qualify for a grant are, basically, those that are needed to improve the property up to the Decent Homes standard.This can include improvements such as damp proofing, re-roofing, the replacement of windows and doors or improving insulation and heating.

When you apply to your local authority for a renovation grant, you will need to provide them with some additional details. These include, two itemised estimates for the work that you wish to carry out, plans and specs if they are necessary and a deed of agreement document. This information will then be supported by an application form that you can get directly from your local authority.

If you need any form of consent, whether it be planning permission, building regulation approval or listed building consent, then you must have approval from the relevant bodies before making an application for the renovation grant.The main thing that you must remember is that the renovation grant will not be awarded for any work that has already been started on a property, so make this your first stop!

Help For Landlords

If you own a property and it has been empty for more than one year, you have the option of being able to let it to council-nominated tenants on a long term lease - usually between five and ten years. If you do this, you could be eligible for an Empty Property grant.

This form of funding covers 50 per cent of the cost of renovation work, including any heating or insulation work.The grant can also be used for properties that are in a substantial state of disrepair or to convert a property from being a single household to a multi household.

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Lesley - Your Question:
I am looking to buy a listed house. The house needs complete renovation. We won't have any money to make the house particularly habitable. Is their any one we can approach to help us with a possible grant.? I read a grant maybe available after 3 yrs of owning the property.Is this the case?

Our Response:
You need to ask your local council to see if they are operating any empty property grant schemes at the moment.
GrantsExpert - 19-May-17 @ 2:30 PM
I am looking to buy a listed house. The house needs complete renovation. We won't have any money to make the house particularly habitable . Is their any one we can approach to help us with a possible grant .? I read a grant maybe available after 3 yrs of owning the property. Is this the case?
Lesley - 18-May-17 @ 5:00 PM
My mother inlaws home has been empty for a year and is falling to bits can we get a grant to do it up as she's moved in with us in our 1 bed flat
JAMES Steele - 16-May-17 @ 8:08 PM
Hi I purchest a house over 2yrs ago i needs gutting, I have come to terms with the fact i need to spend money on it, but would like to know if there are any grants at all available for any of or part of the work that needs to be done in it, like the roof, heating & water, wiring, windows & doors the list can go on, as i say it needs a full gut I have started gutting it, but would like to find out if there is any help i can get? At the moment i live in a static caravan in my garden . Thanks
Animal - 17-Feb-17 @ 5:29 PM
janeford74 - Your Question:
I have bough a house sept 2016 which has been empty for several years and needs a lot of repair work down to damp/electric/gas heating etc please advise

Our Response:
Are you claiming benefits of any sort? Do you intend to rent it out as affordable housing? If so, your local authority might help. If the building is of historical interest you could try approaching the various historical buildings trusts and similar organisations. If you're intending to live in the property and/or sell it on after renovation, it's unlikely you'll be able to find any grants or financial help. Have you considered your borrowing options? Refurbishment mortgage? Bridge to Let loans etc?
GrantsExpert - 8-Dec-16 @ 12:17 PM
I have bough a house sept 2016 which has been empty for several years and needs a lot of repair work down to damp/electric/gas heating etc please advise
janeford74 - 5-Dec-16 @ 5:14 PM
is there any grants my son can get help with he is buying a very old house and needs gutting right down to bear walls, he is looking to do underfloor heating and all things that are eco frendly, he does work Regards area is bassetlaw
louise - 26-Sep-16 @ 11:56 AM
I have seen a dorran property for sale within argyll and Bute at a cost of £90,000,however structurally it requires approximately £40,000 in externally works/cladding to bring the property back to a standard construction property, there is a quote attached to the home report. The property has been on the market for almost 2 years and is lying empty, it is not mortgageable, therefore requires a cash buyer. I am single parent working part time receiving working tax credit and child tax credit, I have obtained an interest free loan from a family member to purchase the property, however do not have the funds to complete the external works where the walls are cracking. Are there any grants available for recladding dorrans properties in my area within argyll and Bute which are means tested to assist low income families?
Smcc - 23-Aug-16 @ 6:50 PM
Shell - Your Question:
There has been an abandoned empty house at the end of my street for well over 10 years now. From past knowledge a very ill elderly man used to live there. There hasn't been anybody visit that house since he disapeared. I am very very interested in moving into this house and wondered how I go about it. It has been boarded up for over 10 years and looks a discrace to are lovely neighbourhood. It's fully over grown and recently attracting youths. I have my fingers crossed hoping for some good news back about my request. Thankyou

Our Response:
The first thing to do would be to contact the Land Registry to see if you can find out who owns it. You can then contact the current owner and see whether they are willing to sell or rent it to you.
GrantsExpert - 9-May-16 @ 12:41 PM
There has been an abandoned empty house at the end of my street for well over 10 years now. From past knowledge a very ill elderly man used to live there. There hasn't been anybody visit that house since he disapeared. I am very very interested in moving into this house and wondered how I go about it. It has been boarded up for over 10 years and looks a discrace to are lovely neighbourhood. It's fully over grown and recently attracting youths. I have my fingers crossed hoping for some good news back about my request. Thankyou
Shell - 6-May-16 @ 6:05 PM
Im looking for any form of help with a derilict home that i bought 3yrs this november. I am currently renting a private property with my 3 children my youngest is whitney whom is 13yrs old & is autistic even if i could jst get central heating sorted out i'd move in & work on it myself. The boiler is there but someone broke in & stole the pipes & radiaters any help or advice would be much appreciated many thanx
sharon - 9-Jul-15 @ 8:25 PM
@sirbenfro. 'Unoccupied' by you.
GrantsExpert - 27-Jan-15 @ 12:51 PM
Have I misread this article? It's an empty home grant but yet the article states that you have to have occupied the property for 3 years before you make the initial grant request.
Sirbenfro - 25-Jan-15 @ 5:58 PM
@Zak. You could try doing something in association with your local council or housing association. There are funds available from Empty Homes government funding scheme, but the resulting property sometimes has to be used for social or affordable housing.
GrantsExpert - 15-Jan-15 @ 11:38 AM
ive just bought a derelict property , been empty for over 7/8 years, it is in need of full renovation such as double glazed windows , central heating, kitchen bathroom,. is there any funding or help available to turn this property in a family home for someone. i am based in sheffield.
zak - 13-Jan-15 @ 4:57 PM
@Pip. The empty properties fund is aimed at 'long term' empty properties. The aim is to bring them back in to use quickly and as affordable housing options to those who are in need. It's not designed simply to help owners of a property renovate it at their leisure.
GrantsExpert - 9-Oct-14 @ 11:52 AM
I have owned a property with my brother for nearly 4 years, the house is a state, all metals pipes have been stolen, floorboards up, holes in the ceilings, windows broke the list is endless. We want to do the work our selfs but funding is a serious issue. We are for ever getting hounded off the local council to let them take over but we want to do this our selfs. They Contacted us saying they will take over for 3 years minimum, I told them the state of the house that they had seen the outside of as they have been having a nosy, they said it was to far gone and when we had done some work to it get in-touch. I wasn't interested in handing over our house for them to put some tenant that will just wreck what we own as thats the sort of area it is but is slowly improving as the landlords on the street are learning by the mistakes of their previous tenants. How do we get a grant to we can finish our property without the local council just wanting to take over, surely this funding should be shared with genuine people with similar properties. Thank you
Pip - 8-Oct-14 @ 10:50 AM
i have an unoccupied house that needs centrel heating and general tidy up and decorating to make it livable I will then either rent or sell if I got to but im struggling to do it myself as im on beifits I have not lived in this house for several years due to my circumstances,i hear of grants available to help people like me and would like more info please im paying a mortage of £30 a week and cant get it done up to possible rent
mez - 4-Jul-14 @ 12:57 PM
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