Renfrewshire Council

Homes again Renfrewshire

Homes Again Renfrewshire is a joint initiative which has been established in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government

The key aim of the initiative is to bring private sector empty homes which have been lying empty for more than six months back into use.

The Scottish Government has set aside £4 million to set up a national empty homes loan fund from which Renfrewshire Council has been awarded £150,000. Loans are being made available to help empty homeowners bring their properties back into use.

To be eligible, owners must ensure properties are used for affordable housing for a five year period after refurbishment or sold at the open market shared equity ceiling threshold to meet loan conditions.

Scotland currently has 23,000 long term empty homes in the private sector.  Long term empty homes are classed as properties that have been empty for six months or more. 

Long term empty properties can have a detrimental effect on the community and can contribute to issues such as fly tipping, vandalism and loss of community well being. Through empty homes work, councils can boost their housing supply, communities can be regenerated and town centres rejuvenated.

Incentives available include:

In addition to the loan facility, other incentives are available including:

  • loan to sell
  • loan to rent
  • the deposit guarantee scheme
  • VAT reductions on works on properties that have been empty over a certain period of time
  • discounts from participating builders merchants, and
  • the property matchmaker scheme.

Home owner information packs are also available with details of how to rent, sell or renovate your property.

Property Matchmaker Scheme

The main issue that owners of empty properties seem to have is homes being stuck on the market for long periods of time.

Renfrewshire Council, like many other councils, has adopted a 'property matchmaker scheme' to help tackle this problem.  

The Property Matchmaker Scheme is a service for empty homes, which aims to match empty property home owners who would like to sell their property, with people who would like to buy an empty property. The scheme is currently successfully running across five other local authority areas.

If you are interested in participating in the Property Matchmaker Scheme, you should complete a 'buyer' or 'seller' registration form. 

Return it to the address at the bottom of the form or you can email a copy in using the details at the bottom of the page.

Alternatively, you can contact your Empty Homes Officer by email or phone who will post the forms out to you. 

Deposit Guarantee Scheme

Renfrewshire Council operates a Deposit Guarantee Scheme. This scheme provides a service to assist and support people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness, to enable them to access a private let.

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme works by providing a written bond, in place of a cash deposit, against damage to the property, or inventory items.

Tenants are required to repay the deposit directly to the landlord over the course of the initial lease, usually six months.

The Deposit Guarantee Scheme can extend the bond up to a maximum of 12 months. After this period, the Deposit Guarantee Scheme will withdraw its bond, and it will be up to the landlord and tenant to make arrangements to pay any outstanding deposit.

Benefits for landlords

  • The Deposit Guarantee Scheme source suitable tenants
  • Direct payments to you
  • No fees to participate
  • The Deposit Guarantee Scheme complete all Housing Benefit forms and monitor claims
  • The Deposit Guarantee Scheme carry out three-monthly visits
  • Support for both tenant and landlords
  • The Deposit Guarantee Scheme can arrange mediation if needed
  • The Deposit Guarantee Scheme can provide lease and AT5 if required

For more information about the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, contact The Prevention Team, Housing Advice and Homeless Services at 15 Abercorn Street, Paisley, PA3 4AA. Alternatively you can phone or email using the details at the bottom of this page.