Repair and Leasing Scheme - Here’s What You Need to Know
In 2019, 200,000 empty houses were found throughout the country. Many of these properties are in need of extensive repair and upgrade – which can often seem like an unaffordable mountain to climb. The Irish government has offered a lucrative scheme to encourage owners to give these properties a new lease of life. But the Repair and Leasing Scheme aims to get vacant properties back on the market by undertaking a number of repairs to make them suitable for living in.
There are many benefits to the scheme, in this post, we will take a look at all you need to know about the scheme and the reasons why it has such positive effects.
What is the Repair and Leasing Scheme?
This program targets owners of houses, apartments and studios within Ireland that have been empty for at least a year. To access this scheme, landlords will need to contact their local authority to apply. In exchange for funds for the repair and structural renovation of the property, local authorities require that the house would be available for social housing for at least five years, under either a direct lease or a Rental Availability Agreement (RAA) with the Local Authority. If you wish to apply to the scheme, you’ll need to contact your local authority for more information.
What kind of repairs are eligible with the Repair and Leasing Scheme?
This program is targeted at homes and properties that will require low level investment to bring them to rental standard. This involves making sure all areas of the home are up to a good living standard and in suitable working order. The improvements and repairs homes will likely experience include:
- Flooring, kitchen upgrade or refit, furniture to make the space habitable
- Low grade plumbing or heating works, energy efficiency upgrades
- Window and door upgrading works
- Insulation to ensure the space is warm and comfortable
- Aesthetic works including painting and decorating.
What are the minimum requirements for the Repair and Leasing Scheme?
There are a number of requirements in relation to the scheme that properties have to meet in order to be eligible for the grant. These factors relate to the amount of time the property has been vacant for and whether or not the area in which the house is located has a demand for social housing. Each local authority has their own set of requirements for the scheme, however, some requirements for all include:
- The property must be vacant for at least 12 months before entering the scheme;
- There must be a social housing demand for the property in the area;
- The property must be assessed as being viable to provide social housing for tenants.
The Benefit of the Repair and Leasing Scheme for Property Owners
The main benefit of the scheme is that it saves landlords a lot of money if they wish to make home improvements. A property which is in need of repairs to ensure it is in line with the living standard will be paid for by the local authority or Approved Housing Body. The work will also be paid for upfront, which means the process can be started quickly and effectively. This is all under the condition that the house can be used as social housing for at least five years.
Interested in the Repair and Leasing Scheme?
In case the property meets the scheme requirements, there are two options: either the landlord will contact a contractor directly, or they will access a professional through the local authority. The maximum costs of repairs allowable under the initiative for houses/apartments will be €40,000, including VAT. We work with some of Ireland's leading contractors in this area – if you are looking for a specialist to complete your home project get in touch with our team now or phone: London: +44 20 3481 1322 or Manchester: +44 151 546 3260.