Landlords with empty properties in the London Borough of Barnet are being offered cash grants of up to lb28,000 to renovate.
The aim of the council providing the incentive would be to bring empty homes back to the market to be able to house vulnerable families.
Here, we explain how the scheme works and offer advice on how landlords can ensure their properties are as much as scratch.
Landlords offered renovation grants
Barnet Council has launched ’empty property grants’ to help landlords renovate or convert empty properties and obtain them back on to the rental market.
Landlords in Barnet can use for grants of lb15,300 for a one-bedroom, lb20,400 for any two-bedroom or lb25,500 for any three-bedroom property, with the stipulation that they have to agree to rent the home out once works are complete.
There’s also an incentive for the first applicants, with people who apply before 30 November granted an extra lb2,500.
Councillor Gabriel Rozenberg says: ‘Barnet has hundreds of vulnerable families who are looking for a long-term home.
‘Whenever we face such an extreme supply shortage, it’s vital that any empty homes are brought back into use as soon as possible.’
Landlords in Barnet can apply for the grants by calling 0208 359 4359 or emailing email@example.com.
Your legal responsibilities as a landlord
It remains to be seen how successful built come in improving use of housing stock in the rented sector, or if any other councils follows suit.
Regardless of incentives, though, there are a range of responsibilities you’ll need to adhere to when letting a house. For example, all landlords must:
Failing to follow these rules can result in any adverse health and safety inspection out of your local council, and also the prospect of the improvement notice, emergency action or perhaps a prohibition order.
Improving your buy-to-let property
As along with ensuring the and safety of the tenants is safeguarded, you’ll want to keep the property in tip-top shape to avoid costly void periods.
With that in your mind, there are several improvements you can make ‘under the bonnet’ before letting your house out that will help the property stand the test of time.
Damp can be a nightmare for both landlords and tenants, and also the costs of repairing your home’s damp problem can run to a lot of money.
That means it’s fundamental to not ignore indications of damp patches, condensation or mould, as what might initially seem like a small issue will quickly escalate.
You can find out more about identifying and treating damp within our guide on the various kinds of damp that can affect your home.
If you’re renovating your home before allowing it to out, investing in decent insulation can be a good investment in the long term.
As well as lowering your tenants’ energy bills, a well-insulated home could be a factor in keeping hold of good tenants for the long run.
Check out our full guides to discover the different types of cavity wall, loft and floor insulation, and get to grips with draught proofing.
If you’re about to let out an older home, it’s best to ensure it adheres to the present electrical safety standards, as discovering a problem past too far could cost you thousands.
If a property hasn’t been rewired for decades, a change might be significantly overdue. If you’re unclear about whenever your home was last rewired, look into the chronilogical age of your fuse box as this can provide a tell-tale sign.
New wiring works must only be conducted by professionals, and any electric work must adhere to Part P Building Regulations.
By law, you’ll need to have a safety inspection done on your boiler every year – but now’s a great time to consider whether a new boiler could be a good long-term investment.
While a brand new boiler may cost around lb3,000-lb5,000, data from our annual boilers survey shows the average boiler repairs lb210.
You can find out more in our guide on five things you need to understand before you purchase a boiler.
Buy-to-let renovation costs
In addition to the vital renovations above, freshening up your property can add to the overall value and get a much better price on the rental market.
Make sure you do your sums before rushing in, though. Which? research published in August found that 22% of homeowners spent a lot more than they planned on renovation work.
The most common overspends were on major renovation work, including double-height extensions, loft conversions and garage conversions.
On a buy-to-let property, however, these types of renovations could potentially boost the quantity of bedrooms you are able to discrete – so it’s very much an instance of weighing in the risk and reward.
Kitchen and bathroom renovations
If you’re not planning to make changes to the fabric of the house itself, then installing a brand new bathroom or kitchen can really renew the home at a lower cost.
As with any renovation work, the price you’ll pay can vary significantly, so always get several quotes before proceeding. Our research found that the four most common methods to cut down on the price of bathroom renovations were:
Get tips on renovating your house by downloading our home improvement checklist.