Landlords in the east of England are to be awarded grants to renovate properties.

Interest-free grants of £20,000 are to be given to landlords in Southend, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford and Thurrock as part of The Place scheme.

The initiative is to be funded by the East of England Regional Assembly and aims to bring empty homes back onto the rental market.

Property owners can apply for the grant on the condition that they will rent the house at no more than the weekly housing allowance level.

The council will refer tenants to the properties following the renovation.

Pathmeads Housing Association is to act as the landlord and will include charges for management and maintenance in the rent.

Commenting on the scheme, Southend councillor for housing Mark Flewitt, said: "Considering the current financial climate, this could really help a number of people get back on to their feet."

According to research from the National Landlords Association, potential tenants are not concerned about receiving energy performance certificates as part of their tenancy agreements.

Written by John WeeksADNFCR-2002-ID-19291525-ADNFCR

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