In an attempt to bring empty properties back on to the property market, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils have teamed up to offer landlords of empty properties £150,000 in interest free loans.
The £150,000 in interest free loans will be offered to landlords and potential new buyers in order for them to complete renovation work. The loans will be offered in conjunction with the Welsh Government’s House into Homes scheme which allows potential buyers the chance to apply for £25,000 per property and up to £150,000 in total. The nature of the scheme means that the money can only be used to renovate a property so that it can be sold or rented out. Applicants are not allowed to live in the renovated property as if it was their main home.
The scheme comes at a time when empty properties are on the rise. In Cardiff there are around 1,200 private homes that have been vacant for six months or more. A fifth of these properties have been vacant for more than five years and one in fourteen has been vacant for over nine years.
The same problem is also prominent in the Vale of Glamorgan where 900 properties have been empty for six months or more. Out of these 900 15% have been empty for over five years and 7% over nine years.
Speaking about the interest free loans, Cardiff’s cabinet member for housing and neighbourhood, Lynda Thorne said:
“This is a great opportunity for owners of empty properties to apply for an interest free loan. There are many reasons why properties can be empty for long periods – it may be that someone has inherited a property and doesn’t really know what to do with it. But whatever the reason, these properties are a wasted resource and can cause problems in a community whether as a magnet for vandalism or anti-social behaviour, or as an eyesore if they have fallen into a state of disrepair”.
If you’re interested in applying for an interest free loan there are a few conditions you have to meet. The first requires you to own a property that has been vacant for a period of six months and the funding received must be repaid to the council within two or three years. This may depend on whether the property is sold on or rented out.
Property owners in Cardiff should contact Derene Hughes, empty homes caseworker, on 02920 871724. Property owners in the Vale of Glamorgan can apply by contacting Georgina Wayman on 01446 709838.
If you’re a property owner looking to rent out your property, we at CPS Homes can help. We’ll find you tenants within six days of being asked to market your property. Contact one of our friendly staff today and we’ll be happy to help.