Renovating Empty Houses

Renovation insurance is essential for anyone planning refurbishment works to their house.
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Home insurance for empty homes being renovated

There are thousands of empty houses across the UK. If you are searching for a new home, and happen across an empty property, then there are steps you can take to secure the house. Many disused homes are crying out for attention. If you are prepared to renovate a property, then you should first contact the Land Registry. This will let you find out who owns the house, or whether the building is part of a planning application via the local council.

If the house you have found is in a deprived area then you may face some challenges to secure the property from the council, who are working to give new accommodation to existing residents in the area.

Alternatively, the council may be very welcoming of an offer to renovate a local property. There may even be an option to request a renovation grant, providing financial assistance for repairs. In this case, homeowners, landlords or tenants could renovate a property and return it to a suitable condition for residency.

Renovation grants are means-tested, so the amount you are eligible for is subject to your income. Typically, there is a maximum amount of £20,000 available for private residences. It is also often the case that the house must have been vacant for three years at a minimum.

In most cases, properties that can benefit from the renovation grant are in desperate need of being brought up to the Decent Homes standard. The local council involved will need to be provided with details of the work you intend to carry out, such as damp proofing, re-roofing, installation of heating and replacement of double glazing. You will also need to secure planning permission approval if you intend to extend the property.

In the case of landlords who have been unable to secure a tenancy for the past 12 months, there is the option to lease the house to council-nominated tenants instead. If you do this you could be eligible for an Empty Property grant which covers half of the renovation works, however, these tenancy agreements are often for 5-10 years.


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