Empty property grants are provided on a discretionary basis to help bring empty properties back into residential use.
The grant is available to owners of properties that have been long term empty i.e. longer than 12 months.
The grant is available for major repairs to the structure of the dwelling and any amenities within. These include but are not limited to:
- Repairs to the roof, gutters and drainage
- Electrical rewiring
- Repair/replacement of windows, doors, ceilings and floors
- Repair/replacement of a heating system
- Provision of energy efficiency measures
- Works to maintain the structural stability of a dwelling
- Improvements to a dwelling to provide any missing amenities such as a suitably located WC, a wash hand basin, kitchen sink, bath or shower and hot and cold water supplies.
Typically non qualifying works
- Costs of materials for DIY projects
- Making good poor workmanship
- Repairs/improvements to porches, conservatories or garages except where the defect has a serious and direct impact on the health and safety of the occupant(s)
- Works that are eligible for grant funding under any Government scheme or programme
- Works to the dwelling where, having regard to its age and condition and to any other relevant information, the awarding of a grant is not considered appropriate
- Works subject to an insurance claim
The grant is not means tested.
All applications shall be made to Rochford District Council.
All applicants who are awarded a max grant of £5,000 will be required to provide tenancy nomination rights to the council for a period of 2 years following completion of all works necessary to rectify any Category 1 and high Category 2 Hazards. A property which fails to rectify such identified hazards and therefore cannot be occupied as a result; will not be eligible for a grant.
Rent levels will normally be restricted to an amount that can be met by the Housing Benefit Local Housing allowance rate.
The grant will only be paid if the eligible works are satisfactorily completed and the grant claimed within 6 months from the date of the grant approval. This period may be extended with the authorisation of the council.
Payment of the grant can only be made upon receipt of invoices, electrical certificates, FENSA certificates or any other certificate(s) as may be appropriate
A register of charge will be placed against the property for a period of 2 years upon completion of works. Completion of works is determined by the Council.
Payment will normally be made directly to the contractor undertaking the works
Grant Repayment Requirements
- Breach of Grant conditions: If the applicant sells or transfers the property within the grant condition period, they will normally be required to repay the full grant to the Council upon the sale or transfer
- In the case of a fraudulent application (e.g. when the applicant is not entitled to the grant for whatever reason), immediate repayment of the full grant plus compound interest will be required by the Council.
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