Flexible Home Improvement Loans

The council can provide flexible home improvement loans to assist homeowners who are aged 60 years or over 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 age 60 years or over

Empty Homes Loans

Flexible Home Improvement Loans 

 

Loans for homeowners aged 60 years or over to improve the warmth, comfort, safety or security of their homes.

We can provide a flexible home improvement loan that will help you remain in a well maintained home during your retirement and you can repay as little or as much of the loan as you like each month whilst you occupy the property.

Who is eligible

Any homeowners who are aged 60 years or over are eligible to apply. In the case of joint owners, each must be at least 60 years of age.

What improvements can be considered

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

 How does the scheme work

The loans are described as flexible which means 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, 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 you will just need to pay a £50 admin charge which is added to the redemption figure.

The loan will be secured by a charge on the property.

Interest will be charged at 2% above the Bank of England rate, subject to minimum and maximum rates (please contact us for a quotation).  Your account will also be debited with an annual charge of £15 to cover the cost of loan administration and statements.

Are there any initial costs

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 engage a solicitor to act for you any fees incurred can also be added to the loan.

When the loan is eventually repaid there is a flat fee of £50 for cancellation of our registered charge. The loan, plus any outstanding interest, must be repaid if the home is sold, or if the owner ceases to occupy it.  The loan can also be paid off at any time without penalty.

How do I apply

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 Home Loans are essentially a five year bridging loan for the purpose of bringing an empty home back into habitable use.

 

How does the scheme work

Empty Homes Loans are available to owners of empty properties and may be regarded as a 5 year, flexible, bridging finance secured by a first charge against or, in some circumstances, a second charge on the property.

After the work has been completed you may let the property or use it as your own residence.  During the term of the loan you can choose to make regular monthly payments, occasional payments or no payments at all.  Furthermore, you are free to vary the arrangement at any time.

There will be 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. This is unlikely to be needed in the majority of cases.

Interest will be charged at 2% above Bank of England rate, subject to minimum and maximum rates (please contact us for a quotation).  Your account will also be debited with 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.

Who is eligible

Empty homes loans are available to owners of empty properties and anybody wishing to purchase an empty property.

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.

How do I apply

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.

Last Updated: 2 December 2019