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What grants are available to landlords?

If you’re a UK landlord renting to private tenants, you could be eligible for government funding to improve your property.

Many of these grants are available to complete energy efficiency work.

But there is also funding available to install charging points for electric cars, as well as a range of local authority funding for property improvements.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything about all the various grants available to landlords.

Can landlords get grants?

There are a range of grants available to landlords, including:

1. Grants to meet minimum heating requirements

The introduction of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) in 2018 meant landlords whose properties carried an Energy Performance Certificate rating below ‘E’ were unable to legally let their properties unless exempt.

And the drive towards more energy-efficient homes is continuing, with MEES regulations could move from a minimum ‘E’ standard to a minimum ‘C’ standard for new tenancies from 2025.

The good news is there are grants available to help you bring your rental property up to modern energy efficiency standards, including:

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme is a government programme that requires energy companies to reduce their carbon emissions and help combat fuel poverty.

Certain rental properties will qualify for energy improvement funding under the scheme, which runs until 2026.

Improvements covered by the funding include:

Cavity wall insulation

Cavity wall insulation grants are available for rental properties heated by electric rather than gas, although some properties with gas systems may also be eligible.

Internal wall insulation

Rental properties with solid rather than cavity walls, which are also heated through electricity, may qualify for internal wall insulation grants.

Loft insulation

If your rental property is heated through electricity and has less than 100mm of loft insulation, it may qualify for a loft insulation grant.

Electric storage heating

Rental properties with electric room heaters or no heating systems at all may qualify for a storage heating grant.

Central heating

For rental properties that have never previously had a central heating system, a grant may be available to install it for the first time. If the property also qualifies for an insulation grant, this must be done at the same time.

Boiler grants for landlords aren’t available under the ECO scheme.

Who is eligible for the ECO grants?

Grants under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme are issued to tenants rather than landlords.

However, landlords need to consent to the work and can work alongside their tenant to complete the application or submit one on their tenant’s behalf.

To qualify for an ECO grant, your rental property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A, B, C, D or E.

Other qualification rules include:

1. The tenant must be claiming benefits or has done within 18 months

Eligible benefits include:

  • Armed Forces Independence payments
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Child Tax Credits
  • Carers Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Pension Guarantee Credit
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Benefits
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

2. The tenant is claiming child benefit

If your tenant is claiming child benefit, your property may qualify for an ECO grant. If child benefit is the only benefit being claimed, however, the tenant may have to pass other income requirements.

3. Local council Flexible Energy rules

If your rental property meets your local authority’s Flexible Energy rules, it may qualify for an ECO grant without your tenant needing to meet benefits or income criteria.

If your tenant meets Flexible Energy criteria, they may be able to access the grants even if they don’t claim benefits or meet income criteria.

Check your local authority’s Flexible Energy Statement of Intent to find out if your property or tenant qualifies.

The Green Deal

The Green Deal was a government scheme that allowed homeowners and landlords to make energy efficiency improvements without having to pay for the costs upfront.

The government scheme closed in 2015, but a version of it is still running through the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC).

Instead of paying for energy improvements up front, the cost of some or all improvements is spread over time and paid back through your property’s electricity bills.

Because of the improvements made resulting in cheaper energy bills, the cost of any work is, in theory, paid back through the savings.

Both landlord and tenant must agree to set up a Green Deal, with the tenant responsible for paying the property’s electricity bills.

Both the Green Deal repayments and the electricity bills themselves revert to the landlord when the property is empty, while any new tenants must be made aware of the Green Deal and the repayments they’ll be responsible for.

If you sell your rental property, the Green Deal repayments transfer to the new owner.

2. The EV charge point grant for landlords

A survey by the Home Builders Federation revealed that 71% of people questioned would be more likely to buy an electric car if their home had an Electric Vehicle Charge Point (EVCP).

The government’s EV charge point grant offers landlords up to 75% of the cost of installing an EVCP at their rental property, up to £350 per charging point.

For portfolio landlords, up to 200 EVCP grants can be claimed in a single tax year.

To be eligible for an EVCP grant, you must be letting a property to private tenants and your property must either:

  • Be a single unit residential property, such as a flat or house
  • Be a multi-unit residential property, such as an apartment block

The property must also have a private parking space for each EVCP installation.

An EVCP grant isn’t available if you:

  • Live in the property and it is a single unit
  • Are letting a holiday rental
  • Rent the parking space from someone else

3. Local authority grants

Depending on the location of your rental property, you may be able to claim various local authority grants, including:

Empty homes funding

Some local authorities offer funding for landlords buying empty properties and renting them out.

This funding is normally offered on a loan basis to repair properties before letting them, but some councils do offer grants of between £5,000 and £25,000.

Grants are also usually only offered to landlords who agree to take council tenants who are currently in temporary accommodation.

Other local authority grants

Other property improvement grants are available from some local authorities, and these include:

  • Grants to convert commercial premises to residential dwellings
  • Grants to convert large houses into flats
  • Grants to make improvements to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Further reading…

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