If you're planning on making certain improvements to your property, you may qualify for financial assistance. You'll also be entitled to certain tax allowances.
Grant funding for energy efficiency measures
Each April the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme releases details of funding from private energy companies which can be used to improve the energy efficiency of private sector housing. Your tenants must apply for this grant and will need to be meet certain eligibility criteria in order to qualify.
If your property is located in certain areas, you may be entitled to assistance with energy efficiency as part of the Affordable Warmth Scheme. This scheme can help with a range of energy efficiency measures, but landlords of private properties will be expected to contribute 50% of the cost of any improvements made under the scheme. You can find out more about this scheme from the building control department of your local council.
Housing Executive grants
If you have been served with a statutory repair notice by the council and you are required to carry out certain works or face prosecution, you may be eligible for a Repairs Grant from the Housing Executive.
The Housing Executive may also issue a grant if you are adapting a property for a tenant who has disabilites. The Disabled Facilities Grant will only go towards the cost of installing features to improve the accessibility of a disabled person's home and will only be issued if an Occupational Therapist recommends that the work be carried out. As part of the conditions of funding, you will have to guarantee that the disabled person will have a right to continue living in the property for at least 5 years.
Landlords can apply for certain tax allowances. Deductible expenses include
- maintenance costs
- agents' fees
- advertising expenses
- contents insurance
- interest on a buy to let mortgage, although this sytem is changing. Speak to your accountant to find out how recently announced changes will impact you.
A tax adviser can help you figure out exactly what allowances you're entitled to.
Landlords who rent out rooms in their own home won't be entitled to these allowances, but can use the Rent a Room scheme to earn up to £7,500 in rental income tax-free.