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.
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:
Has reasonably modern facilities - properties which fail to meet this criterion are those which lack three or more of the following:
Provides a reasonable degree of thermal comfort - this criterion requires dwellings to have both effective insulation and efficient heating.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.