Empty Homes Renovation Loan

The Empty Homes Renovation Loan is designed to help owners of empty properties return them to use and make available to rent. It helps to reduce the level of empty homes in the area and provides much-needed affordable homes for rent. 

It can provide a £20,000 interest free loan to bring homes back into use. Homes must have been empty for more than six months.

Who can apply?

You may apply for the loan if you are the owner of a property that has been empty more than six months, which needs renovation work to return it to a habitable state.

What are the conditions of the loan?

You must be able to demonstrate the property has been empty for a minimum period of six months. You will need to sign an official deed agreement form, which specifies the loan conditions and the circumstances when the loan must be repaid.

One of our Empty Homes Officers will decide the level of essential works needed for a property to become habitable, and which works will be covered by the loan. 

How do I apply?

If you would like more information about this loan - or you would like to apply - please contact us

The loan covers the cost of repairs. These may include:

  • damp proofing
  • provision of sanitary facilities
  • provision of an adequate water supply
  • re-roofing
  • repairs or replacement of windows and doors
  • repairs to structure

We will visit you to assess the repairs needed. We will then tell you what we can help with. 

You should not start work until your loan has been approved. A loan will not be given for any works that have already happened.

Eligibility for these loans is in accordance with our private sector housing renewal policy.  

Loans are subject to budget restrictions.

Further information

Empty Homes Loans are part of the Councils Renewal Policy 2022. Please read our Renewal Policy for further guidance. 

For further information about the loan, please read our frequently asked questions.

Statutory powers

We want to work together with home owners.

If there is no progress in negotiations, we have a number of legal powers we can use to bring empty homes back into use.

VAT Savings

For most construction work on a residential property, VAT is charged at the standard rate of 20%.

In some instances, there are exemptions. If you are renovating an empty house or flat that has been empty and unoccupied for two years or more - and you use a VAT-registered contractor - you could be eligible for a reduced rate of 5% VAT for those cost of works.

This is a potential significant reduction for the cost of your home repairs.

Full details can be found via the government's guidance on Buildings and construction (VAT Notice 708) - specifically section eight of the guidance ('Reduced rating the renovation or alteration of empty residential premises').

Your contractor will need to show HM Revenue & Customs evidence that the property has been empty for two years. Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils can provide the liable Council Tax holder with a letter that confirms this information.