Funding is available for local landlords who have either bought an empty property with the intention to let or own an existing property which has stood empty for at least six months and is in need of repair.
Blaby District Council can provide an empty homes grant and offer a tenant finding service once refurbishments have taken place.
Mrs Harminder Matharu, owner of a house in Kirkland Road, Braunstone Town, is one of the first in the area to benefit from the grant and now has a tenant living in her property.
“The house had been empty since June 2010. We always had the intention to rent it out but after suffering at the hands of rogue builders we found ourselves in a position where there was no money left to finish sorting the house out.
“The grant funding has helped with renovating the kitchen, bathroom and replacing the door at the rear making the house more energy efficient. If it wasn’t for Blaby District Council we would still we struggling to get the work done.”
The Council’s Housing team also helped Mrs Matharu find her tenant by advertising the property on Homefinder.uk.com, an innovative new website which aims to improve the standard of privately rented properties in Leicestershire.
The team were able to make sure the tenant met certain criteria such as having a good tenancy record and previous references, and listed on the housing register as in medium or higher need of a property.
“With the Council’s help I was able to find a tenant within two weeks, and unlike agents Blaby didn’t charge any commission. I’m also safe in the knowledge that the tenant has been checked and met criteria set out by the Council.”
Councillor Maggie Wright, portfolio holder for Community Services, said:
“Empty homes can have an adverse affect on neighbours and the community if simply left to fall into disrepair. It is important that these properties are given a new lease of life and are able to provide a home to someone in need. The positive results of bringing empty properties back into use are endless so I’m delighted to see the Council offering support to landlords to accomplish this.”
Blaby District Council has a pot of funding available to bring empty properties back into use.
The maximum amount of funding available per property is a grant or (0% interest) loan of up to £10,000 dependent on circumstances and subject to inspection by a council officer.
The funding is available to address disrepair issues and redecoration at the property and bring the property up to a let-able standard.
For more information visit www.blaby.gov.uk/emptyhomes, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the grants and loans department on 0116 272 7536.