Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Landlords offered £30k to improve empty homes

Ealing Council in London has offered the owners of empty homes £30,000 to make their properties suitable to rent.

The new empty property grant scheme has been designed to reduce the west London borough’s housing shortage.

In return for the grants, owners must commit to letting their properties at an affordable rent for a minimum of five years.

Under the scheme, owners can apply for a grant for up to 100 per cent of the cost of repairs – to a maximum of £30,000 – as long as the houses have been empty for more than six months. The property must be ready to be occupied within 12 months of the grant being approved.

The council will also offer grants of up to £25,000 for homeowners that allow their properties to be managed by a registered social landlord for five years.

The overhauled empty homes grant scheme will also include the introduction of a free ‘matchmaking’ service to connect owners of empty homes in disrepair with people who want to buy and renovate them.

Hitesh Tailor, cabinet member for housing at Ealing, said: ‘With a severe shortage of affordable housing available, we need to do everything we can to bring empty properties back into use for those most in need of a home.

‘By helping good landlords to bring their properties up to scratch we are also dealing with problems such as anti-social behaviour or crime which can result from homes being left empty for long periods.’

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