Empty homes loan

Reading Borough Council is able to provide Flexible Loans to bring empty properties back into habitable use

Who is eligible?

Empty Homes Loans are available to owners of empty properties and anybody wishing to purchase an empty property.

Applications are processed on a non-status basis, although a credit check is carried out and a very poor credit history may result in the application being declined.

Bankruptcy will automatically prevent us from making a loan.

How does the scheme work?

Empty Homes Loans may be regarded as 5 year, flexible, bridging finance secured by a first charge, or in some circumstances, a second charge, on the property.

After the work has been completed you may let the property or use it as your own residence.  During the term of the loan you can choose to make regular monthly payments, occasional payments or no payments at all.  Furthermore, you are free to vary the arrangement at any time.

The loan, plus outstanding interest, must be repaid on the fifth anniversary of making the loan, or if the property is sold, whichever occurs first.  The borrower will normally need to re-mortgage or sell the property to repay the loan.

Interest will be charged at 2% above Bank of England rate, subject to minimum and maximum rates (please contact us for a quotation).  Your account will also be debited with an annual charge of £15 to cover the cost of loan administration and statements.

The loan may be repaid, in whole or part, at any time without penalty.  When the loan is completely repaid there is a flat fee of £50.00 for cancellation of our registered charge.

It is good to get help you can really trust

As a local authority we are tasked with putting measures in place to encourage owners of empty properties to bring them back into habitable use.

Many empty properties are likely to be difficult to mortgage through conventional lenders and it is our aim to provide assistance whatever the condition of the property.

All this is backed up with the peace of mind that the loan is provided by your local authority on a not-for-profit basis.

Are there any setting-up costs?

There will be a fee for loan documentation and registration of the legal charge.  The fee will be added to the loan and is currently £80.00 for loans up to £100,000.  In certain circumstances the Council may need to obtain a valuation of the property to confirm the equity is sufficient to cover the loan.  This is unlikely to be needed in the majority of cases.

If you decide to engage a solicitor to act for you, they will almost certainly charge for their service.  Any fees incurred may, if you wish, be added to the loan.

I would like to find out more – what happens next?

It couldn’t be simpler.  Just call us on 01189372562

We will be happy to arrange an appointment to visit you and discuss your requirements.

Private Sector Renewal & Adaptations Team, Environmental Health
Reading Borough Council
Civic Offices
Bridge Street
Reading
RG1 2LU

In partnership with Flexible Home Improvement Loans Ltd and 16 other local authorities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey

Initial funding from The South East Regional Housing Board