In 2019 Blaby District Council introduced a 200% Council Tax charge on houses that have been empty for more than two years to encourage owners to bring them back into use.
Across the District of Blaby, however, there are still Long Term Empty homes in every village that have been unoccupied for six months or more.
The cost of bringing empty homes up to standard can be a barrier for many. The Council is urging owners to take advantage of the opportunity of a grant to become a landlord by bringing their property up to a liveable standard and letting it out.
The £10,000 non-repayable grant is available for major works and could include things such as rewiring, central heating and windows that need to be replaced. Help is also provided to identify the work required and help with draw up a schedule of works for accurate quotes can be obtained.
As part of the grant owners will become landlords, some for the first time, with Blaby District Council helping owners to rent out the property to nominated tenants for a minimum of two years.
Rental income for empty home owners can start at £375 per month for a one-bedroom property, and from £710 per month for a four-bed property.
Turning an empty home into a rental property can be not only lucrative for the owner but helps the local community. With many local people on the Housing Waiting List, these properties are a chance to reduce the waiting list and give residents a more stable place to live.
Landlords can choose some of the tenancy conditions, such as no smokers or no pets allowed, and will receive expert advice from a Housing Options Officer, who will be allocated to the property and tenants throughout the whole tenure.
There is also the alternative option of an interest-free loan up to £10,000 to help bring these houses up to standard.
For more information on the grant or loan to bring an empty home back into use, visit the Empty Homes page on the District Council website.