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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Grant to refurbish vacant or derelict homes

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Q: I bought a property that hasn’t been lived in for years, what grants can I get to do it up?

The Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant gives funding for refurbishing vacant and derelict homes.

To qualify:

Your home must have been vacant for two years or more
Your home must have been built before 1993
You must own the home, or be in the process of buying it
You must live in the property as your principal private home after the work is done
You must have tax clearance from Revenue and your tax affairs must be in order
You must have paid your Local Property Tax, if applicable
You must not have already got funding under the grant

Q: How much is the grant?

You can get up to €30,000 to renovate a vacant property and an additional top-up grant of up to €20,000 if the property is derelict. The grant includes VAT.
If the renovation costs more than the grant, you will have to pay for the additional costs.
You can apply to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for other grants to help improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Q: If I have already commenced refurbishing the property, can I get the grant?

The grant must be approved before any work begins.

Q: What does the grant cover?

The grant covers:

Demolition work and site clearances including the removal of hazardous materials
Work on foundations, rising walls, floor slabs, damp-proofing and underpinning
Work on chimneys, suspended timber floors and structural timbers
Work on internal walls, stairs, landings, doors, windows and applied finishes
External walls and roof completions
Building services such as plumbing, heating, ventilation, electrical services and telecommunications
Painting and decoration needed because of the work
Extensions that meet the planning regulations and are part of the wider refurbishment
Necessary external works and site development
Professional services associated with work

Q: Is the grant available everywhere?

Yes, the grant is now available in all areas. You can get it if you are refurbishing a vacant home in a city, rural area, or a town or village. You could initially only get the grant for vacant homes in regional towns and villages but on November 15,  2022 it was extended to all areas.

Q: How are applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant prioritised?

Applications for the Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant are prioritised in this way:

First-time buyers and ‘fresh start’ applicants.
Applicants with particular needs who are selling or have sold their current home and want to refurbish a vacant home to live in. Particular needs includes people with disabilities and older people.
Anyone else who is selling or has sold their home and wants to refurbish a vacant home to live in.

You are a first-time buyer if:
You have not previously bought or built a property to live in.
You do not own or have an interest in any property in Ireland or abroad.

You are a ‘fresh start’ applicant if you previously owned a home, but you no longer have a financial interest in it because:

You are now divorced, separated, or your relationship has ended.
You have gone through personal insolvency or bankruptcy.

Q: How do I apply?

Send a completed application form, supporting documents and a quote for the renovations to your local authority. The supporting documents must prove that you own the home and that it is vacant or derelict.
Your local authority will review your application and send someone to the property to check that the work is possible and to assess the cost. The local authority will then let you know if your application has been successful.

Q: What happens if I want to sell my home or rent it out?

If you decide to sell your home or rent it out within 10 years of getting the grant, you will have to pay the local authority back. The amount you repay depends on how long you’ve lived there.

If you live there for:

Less than five years, you have to repay the full amount
Over five years but less than 10, you have to repay 75% of the grant
More than 10 years, you don’t have to pay back anything
You must pay back the grant in any situation where the home is no longer your primary residence within the first 10 years. However, if you want to rent out a room in your home while you live there, you do not have to repay the grant.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary.

The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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