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Empty and Dilapidated Homes

Where a property has been empty for more than six months, financial assistance may be available to help renovate or convert the property and return it to use.

The Tunbridge Wells Empty Property Initiative

Repayable assistance may be available in the following circumstances to help owners renovate long term empty properties and return them to use as affordable housing:

  • The property has been identified as an ‘empty property’ (ie, vacant for at least six
    months) and
  • There is a housing need for the identified units of accommodation in the area
    (determined by way of consultation with the Council’s Housing Needs Team)

The owner of an empty property may be offered assistance towards the cost of bringing it back into use, either through repair or conversion, or by providing self-contained flats within the property. The property must be brought up to the Decent Home Standard which would include any fire protection works necessary under housing legislation and in consultation with the Fire Safety Officer. The Assistance will provide for up to 75% of the cost to a maximum of:

  • 1 bed unit (flat or house) - £10,000
  • 2 bed unit (flat or house) - £15,000
  • 3 bed unit (flat or house) - £20,000

There is a £100,000 limit for conversion works to any one property.

As a condition of this assistance the Council will be given tenancy nomination rights for a three year period. Eligible works will not include decoration, carpets, curtain poles or curtains, furniture or fittings that would need to be provided by the owner prior to letting.

No Use Empty Loans

In addition to local initiatives, the Council is a member of the Kent wide ‘No Use Empty’ campaign loan scheme. 'No Use Empty' interest free loans of £25,000 may be proivided towards the cost of renovation or conversion of a dwelling that will then either be let or sold. There is a limit of £175,000 for the conversion of a property.

A 'loan to let' has a three year repayment term. A 'loan to sell' is repayable on the sale of the property. All loan applications require the approval of both Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Kent County Council.

To register interest in either of these funding option please contact the Private Sector Housing Team.

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