Flexible Home Improvement Loans and Empty Home Loans

The council can provide home improvement loans to assist homeowners with essential repairs and maintenance or for owners of an empty home to carry out works to return the property to a habitable use.

 

Loans for homeowners aged 60 years or over

Any homeowner, or joint owners, who are (both) aged 60 years or over are eligible to apply for a  Flexible Home Improvement Loan that will help you remain in a well maintained home. We will consider improvements that will make the home safer, warmer, healthier or more comfortable for the occupants. These include for example:

  • Essential repairs and maintenance
  • Central heating or improvements to heating and hot water systems
  • Replacement doors and windows
  • Roof and structural repairs
  • Replacement bathrooms or kitchens
  • Plumbing and drainage repairs
  • Rewiring
  • Replacement guttering, soffits and cladding
  • Installation of level-access showers and stairlifts or other adaptations

During the term of the loan you can choose to make regular monthly payments, occasional payments or no payments at all and you can vary the arrangement at any time. The loan is secured by a charge on the property.

The fee for loan documentation and registration of the legal charge is currently £80 for loans up to £100,000. This fee can be added to the loan. If you decide to use a solicitor to act for you any fees incurred can also be added to the loan. Interest is charged at 2% above the Bank of England rate, subject to minimum and maximum rates (currently the minimum is 3.5% and the maximum is 7%). There is an annual charge of £15 to cover the cost of loan administration and statements.

The loan, plus any outstanding interest, must be repaid if the home is sold or it the owners cease to occupy it. The loan can also be paid off in full at any time, there is a £50 admin charge which is added to the redemption figure.

For further information contact the Private Sector Housing Team who will be happy to arrange an appointment to visit you in your home at a convenient time to discuss your requirements. You can contact the team on 01908 252664 or by email.

 

Empty Homes Loans

Empty homes loans are available to owners of empty properties and anybody wishing to purchase an empty property and must be used to bring it back into habitable use. The loan is a 5-year, flexible, bridging finance secured by a charge against the property.  After work has been completed, the property can be let (subject to your lenders approval), used as the owner’s residence or sold.

During the term of the loan you can choose to make regular monthly payments, occasional payments or no payments at all and you can vary the arrangement at any time.

There is a fee for loan documentation and registration of the legal charge.  The fee will be added to the loan and is currently £80 for loans up to £100,000.  In certain circumstances you may need to provide the council with a valuation of the property to confirm the equity is sufficient to cover the loan.

Interest will be charged at 2% above Bank of England rate, subject to minimum and maximum rates (currently the minimum is 5% and the maximum is 7.5%).  There is an annual charge of £15 to cover the cost of loan administration and statements.

The loan, plus outstanding interest, must be repaid on the fifth anniversary of making the loan, or if the property is sold, whichever occurs first.  The borrower will normally need to remortgage, or sell, the property to repay the loan. When the loan is completely repaid there is a flat fee of £50 for cancellation of our registered charge.

Applications are processed on a non-status basis, although a credit check is carried out.  A very poor credit history may result in the application being declined and bankruptcy will automatically prevent us from making a loan.

For further information or to apply for an Empty Home Loan contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01908 252664 or by email.

Last Updated: 6 April 2020