You could do your bit for the current housing crisis by fixing up a derelict or empty property – and potentially make yourself a tidy profit into the bargain, with just a little help from local government.
A story published by the Daily Mail newspaper on the 4th of December 2018, described how one family in Kent used a council grant of £25,000 to help do up an empty house they inherited – and sold it on for just a little short of half a million pounds (£495,000).
The problem with empty houses
Derelict and dilapidated houses are an eyesore, attract vermin, squatters and other intruders – and may devalue neighbouring property by as much as 18%, says the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
For those reasons, some councils make grants available for owners of derelict properties to restore and refurbish them – whether it is the owner’s intention then to live in the home, rent it out or sell it on. In many cases, once the grant or loan has been made and repayment within a three-year period has been agreed, the council has no further interest in the eventual use of the property.
In the case of the couple from Kent, they inherited a house from an elderly relative who had moved into long-term residential care – by which stage his home had become run-down and dilapidated.
Having insufficient money to pay for the entire renovation works, the couple accepted a £25,000 loan from the local council and repaid that amount within the 3-year period, from the sale of the property.