Leasing Schemes Wales, which is funded by Welsh Government, has helped Wrexham Council bring a number of homes back in use since 2022.
What is Leasing Scheme Wales (LSW)?
The scheme aims to increase access to, and the affordability of, renting privately in Wales. Delivering security for contract holders and confidence for property owners.
Under the arrangement, the council will lease properties from private sector property owners and sub-let the properties to those it has a duty to protect from homelessness.
In addition, the scheme provides an extra intervention to tackle empty properties and poor housing conditions in the private sector that can adversely affect local communities.
The scheme acts as an additional resource for our Housing Options Team seeking to move households on from temporary accommodation.
Under the scheme, the council takes on specific obligations in relation to the maintenance of properties, the rent being paid to the owners. A renovation incentive can also be offered to property owners where properties do not meet minimum property standards or to improve the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.
The renovation incentive will be a grant of up to £5,000
Empty properties can be brought into the scheme and will be eligible for higher renovation incentives. Empty properties may be eligible for a grant up to a maximum of £25,000. Grants of more than £10,000 will require approval from Welsh Government.
Renovation incentives will only be offered to property owners who sign up to the scheme.
Councillor David Bithell, Lead Member for Housing, said “We are pleased to have access to a scheme such as Leasing Scheme Wales. This allows us to work in collaboration with local landlords in order to bring empty properties back into use across the Wrexham County Borough.
“It is pleasing to know that the scheme has been successful since it began in 2022, in seeking properties that we can use, and we look forward to updating you on the next properties being completed under the scheme. Using properties such as those in Wrexham City Centre improves our local economy and helps to tackle the affordability of renting privately in Wales.”
In March 2023, the council leased three apartments in the City Centre. The upper floors of the premises had been empty and in an uninhabitable condition for number of years.
With the aid of grants and loans, these premises were completely renovated by the owners and now provide a modern ground floor retail shop with three upper floor self-contained apartments. Since its return to beneficial use the apartments, provide homes for three homeless households.
The council is currently working with the property owners of another Wrexham City Centre unit. The three terraced buildings have been unoccupied for a number of years and on completion of the works will provide seven self-contained apartments of differing bedroom sizes.
For more information about Leasing Scheme Wales, call our Local Lettings Agency on 01978 315515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.