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6/4/2017 - New scheme offers opportunity for owners of vacant houses

Rebuilding Ireland


A new scheme aimed at bringing vacant private housing properties back into productive use offers opportunities for house owners in Donegal.


The scheme called the Repair and Leasing Scheme will allow owners of houses which have been vacant for over one year the opportunity to carry out repairs in order to bring them up to letting standard.  Donegal County Council is currently seeking applications or expressions of interest from owners of vacant houses who may be interested in participating in this scheme.


The Repair and Leasing Scheme is part of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, and is one of a number of initiatives aimed at bringing vacant private housing stock back into productive use, in suitable locations where there is demand for social housing.


The local authority will pay for the initial repair costs, subject to a limit of €40,000, in return for a 10 to 20 year lease. The lease payments will be adjusted over a period to recoup the initial repair costs. Full details are available here.


Overall, the benefits of the Scheme to the property owner include:

  • Guaranteed rent on a property that has not been generating an income;
  • Upgrade of property that might otherwise become derelict;
  • No loss of rent during vacant periods;
  • No day-to-day maintenance or tenancy management;
  • No need to collect rent or finding a new tenant;
  • Avoid advertising costs;
  • The property will be returned to the property owner at the end of the term in good repair order and condition, save for fair wear and tear.


Donegal County Council has already commenced initial work on a complementary Scheme, called the 'Buy and Renew' Scheme. This Scheme involves the local authority buying and refurbishing suitable vacant properties within town and village centres, in order to support urban renewal. The focus will be on older housing stock, in particular, as part of the response to tackling dereliction and improving streetscapes in towns and villages.


Both schemes form part of the Rebuilding Ireland Action plan, and are aimed at tackling the housing shortage, as well as improving the streetscape of towns and villages.


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