Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant

Combine up to €70,000 Refurbishment Grants with additional SEAI Home Energy Grants for up to
€100,000 K+ in Unmatched Funding for Vacant and Derelict Properties!

Here’s What You Need to Know … 

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant is a scheme to provide funding to refurbish vacant and derelict  buildings in Ireland into permanent homes or rental properties*
(T&C apply).

The grant is funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage through the Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund and your application needs to be sent to your local authority.

Download our Free Vacant Property Grant Guide Here

Up to €70,000 is available if the property is derelict… 

As of May 1st, 2023, a grant of up to €50,000 is available for vacant properties, with a further top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 available if the property is derelict. 

The vacant property refurbishment grant applies to qualifying vacant properties in cities, towns, villages, and rural parts of the country.

The grant can also be used to renovate properties that have not been used as residential properties before, subject to appropriate planning permission being in place.

In the case of derelict properties, the grant amount is up to €70,000.
The property will need to be on the derelict sites register and if it isn’t, an independent report prepared by an appropriately qualified professional is required to be submitted along with the application confirming that the property is derelict.

Can The Grant Be Used to Refurbish Vacant Properties for the Rental Market?

Yes, this is now allowed. The grant was originally designed for people who were refurbishing a vacant property to live in, however, on 1 May 2023, it was extended to people who want to refurbish a vacant property to rent it out. However, the intentional use of the said property must be indicated at the outset as different conditions apply depending on the application type.

You can actually apply for two grants under this scheme to refurbish 2 different properties.
1. Where the property will become the principal private residence
2. One additional application in respect of a property that is being made available to rent under this scheme

However, there are certain terms and conditions that apply.*

—> If you get the grant to refurbish a property to rent and you decide to sell the property, or it is no longer available to rent within 10 years of getting the grant, you will have to pay the local authority back.

—> If you get the grant to refurbish a property to live in and then you decide to sell or rent it out within 10 years of getting the grant, you will have to pay the local authority back.

How Much Do I Have To Pay Back?

The amount you will have to repay depends on how long you’ve lived in the property or rented it out.

  • Less than 5 years, you have to repay the full amount
  • Over 5 years but less than 10, you have to repay 75% of the grant
  • Over 10 years – no payback required.

Criteria to Qualify for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant

  • The property must have been vacant for 2 years or more
  • The property must have been built before 2008
  • You must own the property, or be able to show you are in the process of buying it
  • You must live in the property as your principal private residence when the work is completed, or make it available for rent.
  • If you are going to rent the property when the work is done, you must register the tenancy with the Residential Tenancies Board
  • You must have tax clearance from Revenue and your tax affairs must be in order if the approved grant is over €10,000
  • You must have paid your Local Property Tax, if applicable
  • You must not be a registered company or developer
  • The grant must be approved before any work begins

What Work Is Covered under the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Scheme?

The following categories of works are eligible for grant assistance, subject to a reasonable cost assessment by the local authority and to any limits for specific works as set out in the table below.

The proposed works must be approved in advance, following an inspection by the local authority of the property.

The grant is inclusive of the VAT cost of the works. The maximum amount allowed for each type of work includes VAT and this table is based on a two-story, 3 bedroom semi-detached home.

Combine This with Home Energy Upgrades Grants for Even More Funding!

Can I Also Apply for the SEAI Home Energy Upgrades Scheme?

Yes, you can do this.  If the property is eligible for support through the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant Scheme (Croi Conaithe Fund) it may also be eligible for home energy upgrade grant supports through SEAI.

However, please note, any Home Energy Upgrades can only be funded by one of the schemes.

For example, if the supply and fit of external wall insulation and associated works are supported by an SEAI home energy grant, no part of this work is eligible for support under the Vacant Property Refurbishment grant scheme.

If the energy works are funded through the Vacant Property Refurbishment grant then they are not eligible for support through SEAI home energy upgrade grant schemes.

If you are applying to the Vacant Property Refurbishment grant scheme and you also apply for an SEAI home energy upgrade grant, you must notify the local authority Grant Officer.

What is Required To Apply for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant?

  • Application form – you can download it here
  • Proof that the property is vacant, utility bills can show this
  • Proof the property was built up to and including 2007
  • Proof  of ownership of the property or evidence of negotiations if seeking grant approval in principle
  • Proof of planning permission, if it is needed
  • Evidence confirming the property is structurally unsound and dangerous if applying for the top-up derelict property grant
  • Signed declaration of. intention (as principal residence or for rent)
  • A quotation(s) in respect of the works proposed

Once you have submitted all the required paperwork, the local authority will do the following:

Review your application and documents
Arrange for a qualified person to visit the property to check that it is possible to do the work and to assess the cost.
If your application is successful, you will receive a ‘letter of approval’.
If you haven’t bought the property yet, you will get a ‘letter of approval in principle’ for the grant.
The letter will tell you how much your grant will be.
You must sign and return this letter to the local authority, as it forms part of the agreement with the local authority.
You have 13 months to complete the work once your application has been approved.
Once the work is completed, The local authority will send someone to your property to check that the work has been completed as described and in-line with the costs.

If the local authority is happy with the work, they will ask you to sign a ‘charge document’.
The ‘charge’ document gives the local authority rights over the property as security for the grant. This is to ensure that you meet the requirements of living in the property or renting it out for at least 5 years.

  • The charge placed on your property lasts for 10 years and is equal to the grant amount received.
  • The local authority will register this charge against the property with the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds.

Once everything is in order with the work and the ‘charge document’ is signed, the grant will be paid to you.

* If you get the grant to refurbish a home to rent out, the grant will not be paid until you give the local authority evidence that you have registered the tenancy with the RTB.

You will also need to submit proof annually that you have registered the tenancy with the RTB.

Other Key Points:

You will be required to:

Sign to agree to repay the local authority all or part of the grant, if you sell the home within 10 years of getting the grant, or if you rent it out when you had agreed to live there.

If the property is for rent – you will need to sign a declaration saying that the property will meet minimum standards for rental accommodation if you are going to rent it out.
A signed affidavit confirming that you haven’t got the grant before to refurbish a property to rent out.

If you are applying for the derelict property top-up grant, you need an independent report confirming the property is structurally unsound and dangerous or confirmation that it is on the Derelict Sites Register

All grant information is correct at the time of publishing May 16th, 2023.