In some cases, you may be able to get grant assistance from the Housing Executive to carry out repair works. Grant funding will not usually cover the full cost of your repairs or improvements. Other funding is available to assist with making rented homes more energy efficient. Always wait until you have formal approval from the Housing Executive before beginning the work if you are relying on grant funding to finance your repairs or adaptations.
Mandatory repairs grant
If you are a landlord who must carry out repair work because the council has issued you with a Public Health Notice or a Certificate of Disrepair, you may be able to get some assistance with the cost of the work from the Housing Executive.
The maximum amount that can be awarded is £7500 and payment will be made retrospectively, once the Housing Executive has reviewed all accounts, receipts and paperwork associated with the repair work. The amount of grant aid which you can receive depends on
- the Net Annual Valuation of your property
- whether you can prove that you are in financial hardship and
- whether the property is a protected or statutory tenancy.
If you think you may qualify for a repairs grant you should contact the grants office of the Housing Executive. Always get approval for the award of the grant before you start work on the property.
Disabled facilities grant
A disabled facilities grant is intended to make the home of a disabled person more suitable for their needs. It is usually only awarded on the recommendation of an Occupational Therapist. Landlords and tenants can apply for this grant.
You can apply for this grant on behalf of a tenant who has a disability. You will need to prove your ownership of the property and that you currently let, or intend to let you property to the disabled person for a period of at least 5 years.
You can apply for this grant if you intend adapting a bathroom, kitchen or living room to make the property more suitable for someone with a disability or if you have adapted the heating, lighting or access to the property on the recommendation of an Occupational Therapist.
Payment is made retrospectively, once the Housing Executive and the Occupational Therapist are satisfied that the work has been carried out and all relevant paperwork has been submitted to the Housing Executive. Always get approval before starting any renovations if you are relying on a grant.
Energy efficiency help
If your tenant is on a low income, they may qualify for an Affordable Warmth Grant. These grants can help to install new energy efficiency measures in homes that are classed as being in fuel poverty. Landlords will have to pay 50% of the cost of any work carried out under this scheme. You can find out more about the scheme by contacting Building Control at your local council.
At times Power NI and other energy companies provide financial assistance to private tenants and homeowners who wish to improve the energy efficiency of their properties. These schemes generally offer assistance with the cost of installing new heating systems and insulation.
There are usually strict eligibility criteria for these types of schemes and they may only be available to tenants on low incomes or in receipt of benefit. If you wish to improve the energy efficiency of your home and have a tenant who fits the profile, it could be worth checking whether any of these schemes apply.