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Renovation grants for landlords

To assist landlords in the Suffolk Coastal district, grants of up to £10,000, rising to £15,000, for long term empty properties (empty for more than 2 years), are available towards the cost of eligible works to bring homes up to the decent homes standard.

Who is eligible?

  • Grants are available to all landlords for houses that are to be let at an affordable rent level. This is currently related to the Local Housing Allowance levels linked to Housing Benefit payments.
  • Grants are available for homes that are currently rented, for vacant homes, for conversion of large houses into smaller dwellings and for the conversion of non-residential property to residential.
  • In the case of a vacant property and conversions there should be a proven need for the accommodation in that area.
  • Works are those that are needed to bring the property up to the decent home standard.
  • In the Waveney District, priority for funding will also be given to those landlords who are prepared to take tenants from the Council’s housing allocations scheme.

What is the decent home standard?

A decent home is one which:

Meets the current minimum statutory standard for housing - meaning that it is free of serious health and safety hazards.

Is in a reasonable state of repair - properties which fail to meet this criterion are those where either:

  • one or more of the key building components (e.g. roof covering or electrical installation) are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair or
  • two or more of the other building components (e.g. bathroom or kitchen) are old and, because of their condition, need replacing or major repair.

Has reasonably modern facilities - properties which fail to meet this criterion are those which lack three or more of the following:

  • a reasonably modern kitchen (20 years old or less)
  • a kitchen with adequate space and layout
  • a reasonably modern bathroom (30 years old or less)
  • an appropriately located bathroom and WC
  • adequate insulation against external noise (where external noise is a problem)
  • adequate size and layout of common areas for blocks of flats

Provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort - this criterion requires dwellings to have both effective insulation and efficient heating.

How much help might I get?

Grants of up to £10,000 are available towards the cost of eligible works. We will calculate the cost of eligible works, usually from two independent estimates, up to the maximum.

Grants of up to £15,000 are available towards the cost of eligible works for long term empty properties (empty for more than 2 years) where the proposal is to rent it out.

Up to £5,000 worth of insulation and heating efficiency improvements above the decent homes standard can also be included within the maximum figure.

All lofts will need to have at least 150mm of insulation and any cavity walls that are capable of being insulated, that are not to current building control standard, should be insulated.

The grants are not means tested, they are a simple 100% grant of the eligible cost up to the maximum. Grants are not normally given if the cost of works is less than £1,000.

Where the contractor is related to the applicant, or is a company that the applicant (or member of his/her family) is a director or employee of that contractor or company, the grant will only cover the cost of materials used.

Do I have to repay the grant?

The grant will require conditions to be met relating to the level of rent charged for the property. Details of these conditions are given in a deed of agreement that you will need to sign. The main requirement is that the property will be rented out at a reasonable rent for a period of 20 years; based on the bedroom element of the Local Housing Allowance (our grant officer will assess the applicable number of bedrooms). You will be required to provide confirmation of this from time to time. If you fail to rent at the agreed rent level the grant becomes repayable.

The grant is also repayable if you fail to provide documentary proof of rent levels or if ownership of the property is transferred.

How is the grant paid?

Payment will be made directly to the contractor carrying out the works. This must be one of the contractors that originally estimated for the work.

You will be asked to confirm your satisfaction with the work prior to grant payment and the Council will only pay for works that appear to be properly carried out. If you have a contribution to make towards the cost of works this must be paid before any grant money is issued.

How do I make an application?

Initial enquiries can be made by calling the Private Sector Housing Team.

If we feel that you may qualify for a grant we will then arrange to come and survey the property and provide you with an application pack.

Further information

This page only gives an outline of the grant procedure. Full details of the grants available, the process and conditions can be found in Suffolk Coastal’s Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy.

All grants offered are subject to available budget levels and must help to meet the Council’s strategic aims in relation to housing matters.

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