St Leger Homes and Doncaster Council are working hard to bring empty properties in our borough back into use as safe, comfortable homes for local families in need of accommodation.
For Empty Homes Week 2018 we are looking at the ways we are achieving this, and the positive impact this is having for people in Doncaster.
This scheme has allowed some owners of long term empty properties to apply for a grant of up to £12,000 to carry out works so their property could be re-let.
As a condition of the grant, these homes are let for an affordable rent and managed through our private landlord service St Leger Lettings for a minimum period of five years.
Over the last seven years the grant scheme has successfully brought more than 70 previously empty properties back into use in Doncaster.
Purchase and Repair schemes
This scheme has enabled Doncaster Council to purchase long term empty properties in the borough so that they can be brought back into use.
These properties are then renovated up to the Doncaster Decency Standard and managed by St Leger Homes who let them at an affordable rent to people in need of accommodation. This scheme was partly funded by Homes England (previously the Homes and Communities Agency).
Over the last five years, the purchase and repair scheme has successfully brought more than 100 empty properties back into use.
St Leger Lettings
St Leger Lettings is our in-house private sector lettings agent offering a full range of property management services to private landlords. By providing this service, St Leger Lettings is increasing the number of high quality, affordable rental homes available for people in Doncaster.
With qualified staff and low management fees, St Leger Lettings offers an excellent value for money service for all Landlords and property owners, making sure good homes do not stand empty.
St Leger Lettings currently manage a total of 113 properties for private customers.
Property re-let times
The majority of empty properties in the borough are privately owned and so this is where we target our initiatives to bring homes back into use. However, we also work hard to make sure properties we manage on behalf of Doncaster Council don’t stand empty for long periods between one family moving out and the next moving in.
During 2017-2018 we recorded our lowest ever number of properties that were empty whilst waiting to be re-let to new tenants and our average turnaround time for properties is now down to 18 days between a tenancy ending and a new tenancy starting, which is the quickest it has ever been.