Empty property owners can apply for a loan of up to £35,000 to carry out repairs, and renovations in order to bring an empty sub-standard dwelling back into occupation.

What work does this cover?

The Houses into Homes Loan can be used to tackle items of disrepair, or any hazards that need addressing (as determined by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System).

This loan can be used for items such as:

  • Roof, wall, or floor repair
  • Treating any dampness issues
  • Increase fire safety or security
  • Replacement of windows, doors, kitchens or bathrooms
  • Energy efficiency measures, including heating
  • Conversion into separate units of habitation

This is not an exhaustive list. The eligible work will be determined by a Local Authority Officer upon inspection of the property. In order to make an enquiry for a loan visit, please contact us on 01545 570881.

Who qualifies?

The loan is only available for bringing a property back into use to rent, or to sell. The loan is not available for owners intending to occupy the property. (These applicants should refer to the Home Improvement Loans.)

Loans can be offered to individuals (expected 3 months pay slips), charities (3 years accounts), companies/ businesses (3 years accounts).

The maximum Loan To Value (LTV) is 80%. This means we will take into account any other finance you may have secured against this property and may adjust the loan amount accordingly.

The property must have been empty for at least 6 months before the date of application to qualify for the loan.

How much will I get?

Loan applications can be made for up to £35,000 per habitable unit. The loan amount will be determined according to the cost of the works so you will need to submit priced quotations for the work as part of the application.

The maximum loan application (for example for the conversion of a dwelling to individual flats) is £250,000.

The loans are interest free, providing there is no default on the loan. If the loan repayment is not met or there is other breach of conditions, the total loan amount will become repayable and interest will be due on the amount remaining. Interest will become due at 5% plus Bank of England base rate.

An administration fee will be required as a contribution towards the costs of processing your application.

  • Loan up to £10,000 - fee of £1,210.00
  • Loan £10,001 - £25,000 - fee of £1,818.00
  • Loan over £25,000 - fee of £2,663.00

These fees for landlords will be waived if the property is offered for rent at the Local Housing Allowance rate for the duration of the loan period, and the landlord rents the property to tenants from the Council’s Affordable Housing Register or otherwise a tenant who would be eligible to be on this Register.

The Council Legal Services are required to register a first or second charge on the property being offered as security.

How will I organise the work?

The Local Authority can provide a supervisory service for building works to ensure consistency in standards of workmanship and timely delivery of works. This will include measuring up the property to produce a scheme of work, including drawings where necessary, obtain quotes for the work, including for specialist equipment, and sort out any issues as they arise. The applicant may choose this service if they so wish at a charge of 10%, or alternatively they are at liberty to secure their own contractors for the works.

Loan conditions, including repayment

  • The works should be completed within 12 months of the approval, unless otherwise authorised
  • Payment of the loan amount can be made to the applicant before works have begun providing owners with working capital
  • The applicant must agree to make the repayment of the loan via Direct Debit
  • In the event of a default in loan repayment, the full remaining loan sum will become due, and interest will be bearable as set out in the Loan Agreement document
  • A Land Registry legal charge will be registered for each application
  • Loans to Let will become repayable up to 5 years after the loan sum is paid to the applicant
  • Loans to Sell will become repayable 2 years after the loan sum is paid to the applicant
  • If the property is sold/ disposed of sooner than the repayable date, the loan sum is due in full to the Local Authority
  • The property/units must be marketed for sale or for let within a reasonable period of time after completing the works (12 weeks). If the property/units are available for rent and are not occupied within this time period, then the loan may become repayable