Landlords in Sunderland who need to repair their properties will be offered a helping hand from the local authority under the new Empty Property Grant scheme. While landlords looking to guard their property against damage could seek insurance at http://www.simplelandlordsinsurance.com/guide/request-insurance-quote.aspx, this scheme will help those whose housing stock is already in a state of disrepair.
Up to 50 per cent of the money needed to fund repairs will be offered by Sunderland City Council under the initiative, which will be sourced from the government’s New Homes Bonus grant that rewards local authorities for providing more housing, the Sunderland Echo reports.
So far, landlords have applied for licences relating to more than 600 properties, while improvements have been made to more than 170 privately rented homes. The average loan stands at around £5,000, including the 50 per cent contribution towards repair work.
Councillor Thomas Wright, who holds the Sustainable Communities brief on the councils ruling cabinet, said empty properties can be damaging to communities as they encourage crime and urban decay.
“We are committed to helping landlords in Sunderland to bring these empty properties back into use,” he told the newspaper. “An empty property costs more to maintain and improve than one which is occupied.”
According to the campaign group Empty Homes, there are more than 700,000 properties currently standing vacant in the UK that could be used for housing if they were repaired.