Brighton & Hove landlords offered loans to bring empty homes back into use

by Sarah Ashcroft

Landlords in Brighton and Hove have been given a boost by the local council's decision to offer loans to help them get empty properties back on the rental market.

Brighton and Hove City Council is to provide loans of up to £20,000 to owners of properties that have stood vacant for six months or more, reports the Argus.

This money will be used to bring empty homes back into use, allowing the landlord to enjoy an income from the property once more and helping the council to alleviate any housing shortages in the city.

More than £3 million has been handed to Brighton and Hove City Council and Lewes District Council by the Homes and Communities Agency in order to get the scheme off the ground. The former suggested tackling Brighton and Hove's housing crisis is its primary incentive.

Landlords who sign up will find that  the council's cash is used to make homes habitable once again before the authority takes over the property. It will rent it out and manage tenants for five years, after which a review can be held.

Councillor Bill Randall, chairman of the housing committee, said: "Demand massively outstrips supply for housing in Brighton and Hove. Housing that stands around empty for long periods of time is unacceptable, attracts antisocial behaviour, such as fly tipping, and brings the local community down."

He went on to explain that the council accepts that there are all manner of reasons why a home can stand empty, but trying to bring them back into use rather than penalising the owner is a priority.

Landlords on the south coast have been advised that the funding is limited, so if they're interested in a loan to get their home back in shape they should come forward quickly.

The council's empty property team currently works to get around 150 vacant homes up to scratch and back in a usable state each year, but this figure needs to rise significantly in order to meet demand.ADNFCR-1645-ID-801665773-ADNFCR

Published on: November 27, 2013

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