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1 Empty Properties advice and information Because homes were built to be lived in abcde

2 The Empty Property Team Waltham Forest Council s Empty Property Team actively encourages the owners of empty properties to return them to use. An empty property is a waste of a useful resource when so many households are waiting for housing with the Council. They cost money to tax and maintain and represent a considerable amount of lost rental income. Long-term empty homes represent a wasted resource, and cause a number of problems for the owner and surrounding neighbourhood. They: are a waste of a property that could provide an additional home in an area of high housing need attract crime and anti-social behaviour reduce the value of surrounding properties are an eyesore in the neighbourhood are costly for the owner to maintain are costly for the local authority to investigate Add to this the benefit of a regular rental income, the possibility of grant assistance to help bring the property up to a habitable standard and the satisfaction of knowing that the property will become a home for a family in need, and the benefits of returning an empty property to use become hard to ignore. The Empty Property Grant The Empty Property Team works with the East London Housing Partnership (ELHP), which provides funding to local authorities within the sub-region to give to owners of long-term empty properties (a property that has been empty for six months or more) for the purpose of bringing these properties back into use. More information about the ELHP can be found on their website 2 Empty Properties advice and information

3 Funding is an average of 10,000 per unit of accommodation; however, it may be possible for us to give a higher amount of funding for larger properties or those that require significant renovation works to bring them back to a habitable standard. New units created by converting a property (with planning permission) can be awarded the grant, as can vacant plots of land with planning permission to build new properties on them. This funding is available to all owners of long-term empty properties, regardless of their income status, but the Council would then use the accommodation for up to five years, once works are completed, to nominate households from the Council s housing register. There are currently two schemes that the Council is offering to private landlords. Firstly, the Rent Deposit Scheme matches vetted tenants to properties with no fees payable and offers a market rent that reflects the LHA (Local Housing Allowance). A damage deposit of one month s rent is held by the Council to cover the costs of any repairs caused by the tenant (above general wear and tear) that may be necessary at the end of the tenancy. Secondly, the Private Sector Leasing Scheme offers a guaranteed rent for the agreed term; however, the amount payable is below the LHA to cover management fees. For details of current rental figures for the size of your property, please contact the Private Sector Leasing Team on or visit Empty Properties advice and information 3

4 Documents/certificates required Applying for an Empty Property Grant is easy. However, certain criteria must be met to determine eligibility for the grant. You would have to prove that the property has been empty for more than six months (we normally rely on Council Tax records, but please contact the Empty Property Team if you have any questions or need advice about this), and we will need to visit your property to draw up a schedule of works that we believe are necessary in order for it to meet minimum standards. We would also need the following: Empty Property grant application form Proof of ownership (the title deeds from Land Registry are normally sufficient) Freeholder consent (if applicable) Two estimates/quotes for works on headed paper from a reputable builder Planning consent (if applicable) Building Regulations certificates Buildings insurance Bank statements for proof of own funding (for works above 10,000) Bank account details for payment of grant. 4 Empty Properties advice and information

5 Once the works are completed, the following certificates are required to ensure that the property is compliant with Health and Safety regulations: Landlord s gas certificate Landlord s electricity certificate Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Finally, owners of empty properties that get brought back into use with grant funding will be expected to attend the one-day Landlord s Accreditation Scheme (LLAS) course. Details about this can be found at Empty Properties advice and information 5

6 How the grant is paid Once a case has been approved for grant funding, money is released in payments of 25% at the start of the project, 50% once half of the work is completed and the final 25% upon completion, once all of the relevant documents and certificates have been provided. This is paid in directly to the owner s bank account. However, before any money is paid out, a legal contract is entered into, which commits the recipient of the grant to complete works to the required standard and allows the Council to have nomination rights to the property for up to five years. If the terms of this are broken, the grant is repayable either in full in the event of noncompletion or by one twentieth for each completed year that has elapsed during the five-year nomination period. Use it or lose it! The Waltham Forest Empty Property Team is pro-active in returning empty properties to use in line with the Council s Empty Property Strategy, which can be downloaded from the website at empty-properties. We wish to work with owners of empty properties for the benefit of the community. If, however, people continue to leave their properties empty and derelict, the Council will use enforcement powers such as an Enforced Sale, Empty Dwelling Management Order or a Compulsory Purchase Order to bring these properties back into use. We do, however, consider this to be the last resort, and prefer to work with owners and offer them grant funding where possible. 6 Empty Properties advice and information

7 Further information The Empty Homes Agency is an independent campaigning charity that highlights the waste of empty property in England. It also works to devise and promote sustainable solutions to bring empty properties back into use. For more information about the issue of empty homes in London and the UK please contact the Empty Homes Agency at Contact us If you believe that you may be eligible for an Empty Property Grant or would like further information about this or the work we do, please contact the Empty Property Team on Alternatively, please have a look at our website at or us at If you would like to report an empty property in your area, please call the Empty Property Hotline on or us at Empty Properties advice and information 7

8 This document tells you about empty properties in the borough. If you would like a translation of this information, please tick the language you want, complete your name and address and return the whole form to the address below: This document can also be made available in audio tape Braille large print Niniejszy dokument zawiera informacje odno nie niezamieszka ych nieruchomo ci w okr gu. Je li chcieliby Pa stwo otrzyma t umaczenie tych informacji, prosimy o zaznaczenie odpowiedniego j zyka, podanie swojego nazwiska oraz adresu i odes anie ca ego formularza na poni szy adres: MANDARIN Dukumeentigaani wuxuu wax kaaga sheegayaa hantiyaha banaan ee degmada gudaheeda ku yaal. Haddii aad jeclaan lahayd inaad hesho turjumaad qoraal ah oo warbixintan ah, fadlan saxitaan ku calaamadi luuqadda aad doonayso, ku qor magacaaga iyo cinwaankaaga, markaa foomka oo dhan ku soo celi cinwaanka hoos ku qoran: POLISH,e;jMtzk; MdJ cq;fs; cila gnwhtpy;,uf;fk; Ml;fs; mw;w ntwikahd tplfisg; gw;wpf; Fwpg;gpLfpd;wJ.,e;jjfty; gw;wpa nkhop ngahg;g cq;fsf;fj; Njitg;gbd;> jat nra;j cq;fsf;f Ntz;ba nkhopiaf; Fwpg;gpl;L cq;fs; ngah kw;wk; tpyhrj;ij vojp epug;gp KOg; gbtj;ijak; fpno cs;s tpyhrj;jpw;f mdg;gp itf;ftk;. SOMALI Bu belge, ilçedeki bo gayrimenkuller hakkında bilgi vermektedir. Bu bilginin tercümesini istiyorsanız, istedi iniz dili seçip adınızı ve adresinizi yazarak formu a a ıdaki adrese gönderiniz: TAMIL : TURKISH URDU DP June 2009 Name Address Telephone No Return to: Empty Property Team Cedar Wood House 2d Fulbourne Rd Walthamstow E17 4GG abcde

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