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06 Jul 2022

Major refusal rate to Laois homeowners in repair and lease scheme

Major refusal rate to Laois homeowners in repair and lease scheme

Photo by Bidvine from Pexels

The vast majority of Laois homeowners applying for a repair and lease scheme have been refused.

The scheme which funds the cost of repairs, in return for the council then leasing the property for minimum five years.

Laois County Council is encouraging owners of vacant houses to apply for the scheme.

However they are refusing nearly three out of four applications.

Under the scheme, owners of houses or apartments/bedsits that have been vacant for at least one year and which require an amount of repairs to bring the property to the required standard for rented properties, can apply for the Repair and Leasing Scheme. 

They are then guaranteed rent of 92% / 95% of the current market rate less the cost of repairing the property. The scheme means that owners remain the landlord with responsibility for property maintanance, but are guaranteed tenants. 

The maximum cost of repairs cannot exceed €60,000 including VAT and must be carried out by an approved contractor or by the council. The homes also have to be offered furnished in line with approved standards.

Laois County Council gave the latest figures at its May meeting.

So far it has recieved 35 applications. Of those, 26 were refused.  Five have been approved to proceed with works, with three under consideration, and one lease already commenced. 

The council gave the various reasons for refusals.

"Properties deemed to be unsuitable for the R&L Scheme due to: their location in areas of low housing demand, or the extend of works required exceeding the scheme limit, or works were commenced or almost complete before an application was submitted, which is not permitted under the scheme".

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