Policy Empty Homes Strategy

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7. Appendix PSH Loan Fund Assistance


To encourage and assist owners of non-decent empty properties to bring their properties back into use.


Loan assistance will be made available to owners of empty properties when the following criteria is met:

  • The applicant must have owned the property for at least 6 months
  • The property must have been empty for at least 6 months (according to council tax records).
  • The property must fail the decent homes standard
  • The applicant must have /or agree to obtain Planning and Building Regulation approval for the agreed scheme should it be appropriate

Eligible Work

Assistance will be available for:

Works of conversion, repair, or improvement to provide living accommodation to meet housing needs as identified by the Council’s Housing Advice Team.  

Eligible work must include work necessary to bring the property up to Decent Homes Standard.

Financial arrangements

Wessex Home Improvement Loans will make an assessment of the landlord’s financial circumstances and the amount of loan available will depend on the outcome of this assessment.

All loans agreed will be on capital repayment terms only.

The minimum loan available is £1000.  There is no limit on the number on loans available; however, the maximum loan value is £15,000 on any dwelling.  The definition of ‘dwelling’ is based on   the property address at the start of the process.

The loan value will be based on the lower of two valid estimates for the cost of the agreed works.


East Devon District Council will approve referrals to be made to Wessex Home Improvement Loans following:

  • An inspection of the property and schedule of works required to make the property decent and not be subject to risk of enforcement action under the Council's enforcement policy.
  • An initial financial assessment
  • Proof of ownership for at least the previous 6 months
  • A certificate of letting stating that the applicant will let the property to someone nominated by EDDC Housing Advice within 2 months of loan draw down, for a period of at least 2 years and at an affordable rent level.*


Wessex Home Improvement Loans will issue the formal loan agreement on the recommendation from the Council and having regard to financial commitments within the Loan Fund held by WRT.

The loan will be available for a period of 6 months and the work must be completed within this period or the loan agreement will be cancelled.


Payment will be made directly to the owner / applicant on a pro rata basis on receipt of relevant satisfactory invoices.  Final payment can only be paid on receipt of relevant certificates and warranties.


As outlined in the loan agreement between the client and Wessex Home Improvement Loans, loans are secured with a Local Land Charge against the property and this charge is only removed when the loan has been repaid.

Should a landlord default on repayments, Wessex will follow standard default procedures.

The Council will enforce any breach of the Certificate of Letting and demand full repayment of the loan subsidy payment if the property is not let for the two-year period.