Property owners can apply for a loan of up to £25,000 to carry out repairs, renovations or upgrades to their home.
What work does this cover?
Works undertaken with loan funding must contribute to making the property Warm, Safe or Secure. There is no requirement that the property must meet all of these criteria. The loan could be targeted at one key element.
These Home Improvement Loans are made available to support the following elements:
- Substandard Housing (Cat 1 / Cat 2 Hazards / Welsh Housing Quality Standard)
- Repair, Fire Safety or Security
- Empty Homes (Renovation / Conversion)
- Energy Efficiency (ECO top up)
- Group Repair Schemes / Envelope Schemes
- Private Rented Sector (Access Schemes)
- Aids and adaptations for older or disabled people or DFG top up
This is not an exhaustive list and if the works contribute to making the property warm, safe or secure, then it will fall within the terms of the scheme.
The eligible work will be determined by a Local Authority Officer upon inspection of the property. In order to make an enquiry for a loan visit, please contact us on 01545 572185.
Any owner of substandard housing can apply for the loan including:
- Owner occupiers
- Charities / Third Sector
The Local Authority will give priority to homeowners and landlords. Landlords offering the property to let at affordable/ intermediate rent rates, or who offer the housing for social housing or nomination rights will be given priority over landlords letting on the open market.
The applicant must be able to afford the loan repayments or have the means to repay the loan on the due date. An affordability check will be carried out in order to ensure applicants can meet loan repayments.
Applicants must not:
- Have adverse credit history which may include:
- County Court Judgements (CCJ)
- Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)
- Debt Relief Order (DRO)Have adverse credit history which may include:
- Have been bankrupt (within last 6 years)
- Be undergoing/ have undergone Company Insolvency / Liquidation
- Owe any outstanding debt to the Local Authority at the time of making an application
How much will I get?
Loan applications can be made for between £1000 to £25,000 per habitable unit. The loan amount will be determined according to the cost of the works so you will need to submit priced quotations for the work as part of the application.
The Local Authority will also take into account your personal affordability and the loan amount may be adjusted to reflect an amount you can realistically repay.
The maximum loan application (for example for the conversion of a dwelling to individual flats) is £150,000.
The loans are interest free, providing there is no default on the loan. If the loan repayment is not met or there is other breach of conditions, the total loan amount will become repayable and interest will be due on the amount remaining. Interest will become due as detailed in the Loan Facility Agreement. (Currently Bank of England base rate plus 5%).
There is a one off administration fee associated with the provision of the loan. The fee amount is set out as follows:
- Loan up to £5000 – fee of £650
- Loan £5001 to £25,000 – fee of £1000
Subject to available funding, owner occupiers may be able to apply for a Loan Application Grant up to a maximum of £4500, to pay for the fees. Provided there is no default on the loan, or breach of grant conditions, the grant will not be repayable. In the event of Loan Application Fee Grant not being available a maximum of £500 will be charged to the applicant.
- Loan up to £10,000 – fee of £1000
- Loan £10,001 - £25,000 – fee of £1500
- Loan over £25,000 – fee of £2200
These fees for landlords will be waived if the property is offered for rent at the Local Housing Allowance rate for the duration of the loan period, and the landlord rents the property to tenants from the Council’s Affordable Housing Register or otherwise a tenant who would be eligible to be on this Register.
How will I organise the work?
The Local Authority can provide a supervisory service for building works to ensure consistency in standards of workmanship and timely delivery of works. This will include measuring up the property to produce a scheme of work, including drawings where necessary, obtain quotes for the work, including for specialist equipment, and sort out any issues as they arise. The applicant may choose this service if they so wish at a charge of 10%, or alternatively they are at liberty to secure their own contractors for the works.
As with the administration fee, there may be a grant available for owner occupiers to cover the cost of the supervisory service, subject to funding.
Loan conditions, including repayment
- The works should be completed within 12 months of the approval, unless otherwise authorised
- Payments will be made retrospectively, upon Invoice, and after inspection of the works
- Full repayment of funding given through this scheme will be required in the event of transfer or sale of the property
- Loans amounts and repayment schedules will be determined by the Local Authority and are subject to minimum repayment amounts. (£50/ month for owner occupiers and £100/ month for landlords)
- The applicant must agree to make the monthly repayments via Direct Debit
- For loans up to £5000 a local land charge will be secured on the property that will bind the applicant and any successors in title. This charge will be registered in the local land charges register and thereafter registered with the Land Registry
- For loans over £5000 a Land Registry Legal Charge will be lodged that will bind the applicant and any successors in title
- Repayments will begin on the 15th of the first full month after final payment is made, as determined by the Local Authority
- In the event of a default in loan repayment, the full remaining loan sum will become due, and interest will be bearable as set out in the Loan Agreement document
- In the event of a default in loan repayment, any fee grant awarded will also become repayable
In cases of suspected fraud or deception - It is the policy of the authority to actively pursue, identify and investigate suspected instances of fraud and deception.