Grants proposed for landlords

LANDLORDS who have homes that have been empty for six months or more could get council grants and interest-free loans to do them up.

Thurrock Council’s private housing service can provide up to £50,000 – half as a grant and half as a loan – to help bring unused homes back into use.

The scheme is available for accredited landlords who want to bring a long-term empty home back into use as a rented property available for letting to tenants nominated by the council.

To be eligible, landlords must either own the freehold or be a leaseholder with a minimum of five years remaining on the lease. The home must have been empty for at least six months at the date of application and be available for renting for a minimum of five years after satisfactory completion of the work.

Landlords must also be members of the Thames Gateway South Essex Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

The sort of work that the grants and loans can cover include such things as renewing or repairing hot water systems, the provision of a suitable heating system, general rewiring and damp proofing, as well as renewing defective roof coverings and repairing or renewing rotted windows and doors.

There are rules and regulations about how the money can be spent and when the loan part has to be repaid – for example the maximum combined grant and loan assistance available are £30,000 for a one-bedroom property, £40,000 for two bedrooms and £50,000 for three or four bedroom homes – but Thurrock Council is seeking to increase the number of successful applications.

To find out more about empty home grants and loans, contact Thurrock Council’s private housing service by email at private.housing@thurrock.gov.uk, by calling on 01375 652391 or by writing to them at Private Housing Service, Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL.

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