Helping landlords bring empty properties back into use
23 November 2015A dilapidated property in Chester has been restored and given a new lease of life, thanks to help from Cheshire West and Chester Council and a local business.
The empty property on Queens Avenue had suffered years of neglect after the owner moved abroad and was unable to maintain it. Following complaints from neighbours the owner was contacted by a council officer and the various options were discussed available to him to bring the property back into use.
An empty property can be a constant drain on an owner’s resources, in both monthly expenses - including council tax, maintenance and security – as well as the capital cost of deterioration.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Empty Home Team offers non-repayable Empty Property Grants to facilitate renovation works required for the owner either to let as a rental property or to move into the property themselves.
The property must have been empty for at least 18 months, be in council tax band A to D and be in need of repair.
The owner of this newly restored property on Queens Avenue, Chester, has benefitted from the grant, as well as refurbishment and rental management services provided by Empty Home Solutions, a local specialist.
Due to the condition of the property, further financial assistance – in addition to the grant - was also provided by Empty Home Solutions, who are now recovering their investment from monthly rental income generated from the property.
Councillor Angela Claydon, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Empty homes can have an adverse effect 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.”
“If it wasn’t for the Council and Empty Home Solutions, we would still be struggling to get the work done.
“With their help a tenant was able to move into the property within days of the works being completed, and as the tenant has come through the Council’s Housing Solutions service, I know I am providing a home for a family who are genuinely in need.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council has a pot of funding available to bring empty properties back into use. The maximum amount of grant funding available per property is £10,000, subject to grant conditions and an inspection by a council officer.
The funding is available to address disrepair issues and bring the property up to a decent standard to allow it to be brought back into use.
For more information visit www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/emptyhomes, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 123 7038.
The house in Queens Avenue, Chester, before and after the work had been carried out.