Empty homes loan fund

Empty home loans

We have secured funding from the Scottish Government to assist owners to bring their property up to a lettable standard by providing an interest free loan if the property is let at a market rent for five years or sold at an affordable level.

Empty homes can be costly to both owners and the local community; the longer they are empty, the greater the waste and the harder it can be to bring them back into use. By owning an empty property there are costs incurred such as council tax, insurance and security; lost income from renting or selling the property; and reduction in the property’s value if the properties condition deteriorates. 

Council tax discount

In accordance with the Council Tax legislation an empty dwelling is a dwelling which is both unoccupied and unfurnished which has already received the appropriate 50% discount for the mandatory period and still remains vacant.  A levy has been applied  for properties that are unoccupied for more than 12 months and a 100% additional council tax charge will be applied to the property unless it is currently being:

  • actively marketed for sale or rent
  • undergoing structural repairs
  • is classed as a second home

If you have an empty home in East Ayrshire or if there has been a change to this information please contact Council Tax to allow your records to be updated accordingly.

Empty home advice

If you are interested in bringing your empty home back into use we can offer you some advice and assistance in the following areas:

  • Safety and security
  • Renovation overview
  • VAT discounts
  • Energy efficiency
  • Selling options such as estate agents, auction houses, property buying companies
  • Private renting
  • Interest free loans provided by us
  • We operate a ‘buy back’ scheme
  • We operate a Matchmaker Scheme whereby owners can provide details of their property, this information can be passed to potential purchasers

Private landlord advice

If you wish to consider becoming a private landlord we would provide potential landlords with a package of assistance to ease the transition from being an owner of an empty property to being a private rented sector landlord. This could include providing:

  • Landlord guides, including model tenancy agreements etc
  • Access to the Deposit Guarantee Scheme along with advice and assistance
  • Access to the available property list
  • Specifically tailored Accreditation Training Courses
  • Registration assistance
  • Ongoing advice and assistance

If you would like further advice and assistance on any of the above please contact the Empty Homes Officer.

Missing shares scheme

We have introduced two new schemes to help landlords and property owners. A ‘missing share’ scheme has been established that will allow the Council to meet the missing share of the costs for communal repair work where the majority of landlords/owners are in favour of the work being undertaken. This will then allow the work to proceed and thereafter the council will take a charge against the property and the owner will incur additional legal and administration fees.

We also have grant funding available to owners who would like to change the use of a commercial property to provide residential accommodation.

For further information on any of these schemes please contact Karen Walker on the details given below.

Contact Information

Private Sector Housing Unit
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street
Telephone: 01563 554584
Telephone: 01563 554560
Telephone: 01563 554583 (Empty Homes Officer)