There are a number of grants available to landlords that may help your investment run more cost-effectively. What is available may differ whereabouts you are in the country. Here is a selection of some of the initiatives currently available in Britain and Wales.
For Scottish landlords, this page is a good starting point.
The Green Deal helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home and find the best way to pay for them. Typically, the costs aren’t all paid for upfront – there are a number of options – for example, a charge being added on to your standard monthly / quarterly utility bills. You may also be able to get cashback in some cases. The Government site explains more about the Green Deal payment options here.
The improvements that could save you energy depend on your property, but typical examples include:
- insulation – eg solid wall, cavity wall or loft;
- double glazing;
- renewable energy generation – eg heat pumps or solar panels.
If some of the costs of the improvements are repaid by the bill payer (who is usually the tenant) as part of their standard utility bill, you must get their permission – and vice versa – when joining up to the scheme.
The Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) can help you reduce your tax bill by up to £1,500 annually.
So, how does it work?
If you buy and install any of the following energy-saving products for properties you let, typically you can claim LESA for the costs:
- solid wall, cavity wall or loft insulation;
- floor insulation;
- hot water system insulation.
If you own and rent out properties abroad – but pay UK tax on profits from these properties – then you can also claim LESA.
VAT discounts on empty properties
This is an initiative run by Empty Homes who want to create long term sustainable housing by bringing empty properties back in to circulation.
VAT discounts are available in some circumstances and depending on how long a home has been empty. For the full details, read their Guide here.
Empty property grant
Property grants or loans are administered by each local authority. There are usually conditions attached to this type of grant/loan – for example, after the work has been completed, the property must be available for social housing for a fixed period of time. For more details, contact your local authority.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) are properties occupied by people who share basic amenities, for example a bathroom or toilet. They don’t live as a single household nor have a family relationship.
By law, all HMO’s must be licensed to ensure they meet minimum safety and other requirements. Grants up to £30,000 can be applied for in order to ensure the building meets these minimum standards.
The type of work the grant can pay for may include:
- safety measures and fire precautions for tenants;
- meeting the bare minimum standards required for fixed amenities, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
These grants are administered by your local authority, so approval criteria may vary depending on the individual authority.
In summary, there are initiatives in place for property owners and landlords that may reap financial rewards. To find out more, speak to your local council.