Have you been considering investing in a vacant property and refurbishing it? If so, you may be eligible for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant. This grant is available to homebuyers who are looking to live in a refurbished property. The maximum amount available is €50,000. In this blog post, we’ll explain what this scheme is and how you can apply for it.
What Is The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?
The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a scheme designed to help homebuyers who are looking to invest in and refurbish a vacant property. The grant provides up to €30,000 for refurbishing a property. An additional €20,000 available if the property is confirmed as derelict by an independent professional such as a HomeCheck Engineer or Surveyor. This brings the total maximum grant up to €50,000. It’s important to note that this grant can be combined with the SEAI Better Energy Home Scheme which covers works of up to €26,750.
in November 2022, the government made changes to the existing Grant, which will now apply to vacant properties in all areas of the country, from cities to villages. Local authorities have been tasked with assessing applications and making determinations on eligibility based on overall vacancy and dereliction levels within their administrative area. To ensure the grant is used properly, there are provisions set out by the government that entitle recipients of the grant to live in their qualifying property for at least five years. If they decide to sell or depart from the property within a ten year period, they must reimburse a part of the grant value back to the local authority.
Who Is Eligible For The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?
The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is exclusively available to individuals or households where the property they are looking at buying will become their principal private residence. That means it’s not open to developers or any other undertaking. Additionally, HomeCheck can assess the property to determine whether it is structurally unsound (derelict) and can also provide written opinions on planning permission that may be required by the local authority.
The scheme is primarily aimed at first-time buyers and those eligibile under the “Fresh Start” principle (which includes those who have experienced certain life events such as divorce, separation, insolvency or bankruptcy and therefore no longer have a legal interest in their previous home.). Furthermore, the Grant also provides aid to disabled people or older people who are moving from their current home to purchase or refurbish and inhabit a vacant property. All of these applicants can utilize the Grant to help them achieve their goals of owning a suitable living space.
How Can I Apply For The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?
If you’re interested in applying for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant then there are several steps you need to take first.
- Check the eligible works that qualify for funding under this scheme and the other documentation required.
- Contact your local authority. The local authorities, such as county and city councils, are responsible for administering the grants. Requirements can vary from one council to another, so try and speak to the person who will be assessing the applications in your area. In particular, the requirements around the additiononal ‘derelict’ grant, should be discussed to get an indication whether your property is likely to be accepted for this top-up.
- If your discussuions with the council indicate that the property does meet their criteria for being derelict, contact HomeCheck to arrange a Dereliction Assesment.
Finally submit your application form accompanied by all relevant documentation as outlined by your local authority and wait for them to process your request.
You will need:
- a quotation for the works proposed.
- an independent report from qualified professionals such as HomeCheck Engineers and Surveyors, confirming the property is structurally unsound and dangerous (if seeking top up grant for works to a derelict property).
- Confirmation that it is on the Derelict Sites Register, where applicable.
- any other supporting documentation that your local authority may request to support your application.
The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grants provides individuals or households with up to €50,000 towards renovating or refurbishing a derelict residential property – providing them an opportunity not only to save money when buying such properties but also carry out necessary repairs without having too much financial strain on themselves!