Repairing or renovating property? We can help

As anyone who watches “Homes under the Hammer” will know, repairing, repurposing and restoring buildings anywhere can be a difficult and expensive task, but in East Ayrshire we can help – with two schemes designed to make it a wee bit easier for developers and property owners to make lasting repairs and bring their buildings up to modern standards.

Renovation can be particularly difficult if you own one property in a communal building and can’t get the agreement of all the owners to contribute to repair costs. And where a town centre property is no longer in demand as a shop unit or office, it can be difficult to find funding to convert it into much needed residential use.

What we can do to help
Thankfully East Ayrshire Council now offers two streams of funding:

  • The Commercial to Residential Conversion Fund
  • The Missing Shares Scheme

The Commercial to Residential Conversion Fund
This grant is open to owners of empty commercial properties in Kilmarnock Town Centre, to allow them to convert them into residential units and let out at Local Housing Allowance rates for a set period of time. Our officers can help developers with advice, grant applications and guidance throughout the life of the project.

Grant Criteria
The grant application form and criteria are simple and straightforward. Buildings must currently be empty to qualify for a conversion grant, however; there is no minimum period that the property must have been empty for. Grants awarded are based on the intended completed property size with a maximum grant of £3000 per bedroom (subject to cost of work required).

This scheme is operating initially in Kilmarnock Town Centre and applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

What can I use the grant for?
Grants under this scheme can only be used to bring properties up to the Repairing Standard and/or to undertake work which would be required to obtain an HMO License. The following work will also fall within the scope of the grant:-

  • Central Heating/plumbing or utilities – install or upgrade
  • Ventilation
  • Electrical – may include complete rewiring, installation of new consumer units or main powered smoke detection
  • Decoration – an allowance of £500 per property (if permission is granted for residential use, you can also access empty homes discounts and Empty Homes Loan Fund)

What can’t I use the grant for?
You cannot use the conversion fund for license fees, furnishings, appliances or other consumable items. The property must comply with all relevant planning and building control regulations.

Use of your properties
Grant funding is subject to the agreement that the property is rented at an affordable level for a period of no less than 2 years.

If you sell the property within 2 years of completion, the council will require repayment of the grant fund of 100% in the first year and 60% in the second year.

After 2 year have elapsed you will be free from the conditions associated with the provision of Grant funding and be free of any obligation.

The Missing Shares Scheme
This scheme is available to property owners and landlords throughout East Ayrshire whose property needs communal repairs (such as roof, drainage etc) and where agreement on joint payment cannot be reached with all other owners in the building.

It allows 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 means work can go ahead and the council will take a charge against the property and pursue the owner for additional legal and administration fees.

Find out more

For further details on this and other help available to owners, tenants and developers please visit our Private Rented Housing webpage or email us