Skip to main content

Housing Services

Vacant Homes

Options for Vacant Homes and their Owners

  • Are you aware of a vacant home in your area? 

    If you are aware of vacant home/homes in your area you can anonymously log details of same on 

  • Are you an owner of a vacant property? 

    When you own a vacant home it can be difficult to work out the options that are open to you to bring it back to use. 

    Mayo County Council are seeking to acquire suitable properties throughout Mayo to provide housing and achieve our targets under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan.  

  • Benefits in bringing a vacant home back to use. 
    • Increase the capital value of your property. 
    • Long term investment potential of a properly maintained dwelling. 
    • Increased sales potential. 
    • Property secured from vandalism/anti-social behaviour. 
    • Provision of homes to those in need of housing. 


    Bringing Back Homes – Manual for the Reuse of Existing Buildings 

    This manual has been developed to support and facilitate the reuse of older/vacant buildings in our towns and cities for residential use. The manual provides clarity on the application of the current regulatory requirements to common existing building types and guidance on how best to facilitate their reuse. 

  • Vacant Property Refurbishment Grant: Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund

    The Croí Cónaithe (Towns) Fund is a fund that is to be delivered by local authorities. The aim of the fund is to provide new choices for people to live in towns and villages. Initially the fund is for the provision of a grant to support the refurbishment of vacant properties, with priority given to areas where the level of vacancy or dereliction is high.

    Under the scheme all locations across the County are eligible – villages, towns and rural locations.

    A grant of up to a maximum of €50,000 will be available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence. As of May 2023 the grant has been expanded to include those who wish to refurbish a property and make it available to rent. A maximum top-up grant amount of up to €20,000 will be available where the property is confirmed by the applicant to be derelict (i.e. structurally unsound and dangerous) bringing the total grant available for a derelict property up to a maximum of €70,000.

    To find out more about the fund and the criteria involved please click here or contact the Vacant Homes Officer for Mayo County Council on

  • Repair and Leasing Scheme

    The Repair and Leasing Scheme is an opportunity to bring vacant houses or commercial properties back into use as homes for families and individuals on the social housing waiting list.

    Suitable buildings are typically located in central locations or are in high profile sites that benefit from renovation.  Mayo County Council will accept applications county-wide subject to housing needs being identified in the area. 

    Under the Repair and Leasing Scheme, Mayo County Council or an Approved Housing Body (AHB), will provide interest free funding of up to €80,000 (including VAT) per individual home delivered, to bring the property up to rental standard.  In return, the homes are leased to the local authority or an AHB for between 5 and 25 years.  The loan is repaid via a deduction in the monthly rent over an agreed term within the lease.

    What is RLS and what funding is available?

    •  RLS provides social housing through the renovation of vacant privately owned properties.
    •  Mayo County Council or an AHB, provides a loan to carry out works on vacant properties to bring them up to rental standards
    • The renovated home is leased to Mayo County Council or AHB to provide social housing for between 5 and 25 years.
    • The maximum loan is €80,000, including VAT, per completed unit; 2 units max €160,000, 3 units max €240,000 etc.
    • The loan is offset against the monthly lease payment to the owner.
    • Income – lease payments maximum 80%/85% of market rent for long-term leases or 92%/95% for Rental Availability Agreement (RAA), less offset.

    Benefits to Property Owner

    •  Long-term lease option (5 to 25 years) or Rental Availability Agreement (5 to 10 years typically).
    • Mayo County Council or the AHB is the landlord to the tenant; no day-to-day maintenance (long-term lease only).
    • No loss of rent during vacant periods; no advertising/letting fees.
    • Guaranteed income for lifetime of lease.
    • Interest free loan up to €80,000 including VAT, per unit, for example, where a vacant pub is converted into 7 units, maximum funding of €560,000 is available.  In the case of multi-unit developments, funding may be apportioned between units.
    • There is no limit on the number of units one property owner can provide under RLS.
    • Tax relief under the Living Cities Initiative may apply, where appropriate (provided that all other requirements of the Initiative are met).

    What properties qualify?

    • Properties must be vacant for at least 12 months; and
    • Mayo County Council must decide that the units are required and suitable for social housing.

    Where can I apply?

    If you are interested in applying to this scheme or wish to discuss, please contact us at or on 094 90 64741. 


    Further information on the Repair & Leasing Scheme is available here

    Further information on the Living Cities Initiative is available here

    Information on the tax treatment of RLS is available here

    Repair and Leasing Information Booklet

    Repair and Leasing FAQs

  • Buy & Renew Scheme 

    The Buy and Renew Scheme is a companion to the Repair and Lease Scheme, as it provides the option for suitable properties to be purchased rather than leased by a Local Authority. 

    In essence you would be selling your home to the Local Authority. A particular focus of the scheme is on older vacant homes to help tackle the problem of dereliction and improve the appearance of the community. 

  • Long-Term Leasing 

    The Long-Term Leasing initiative may be an option for you if you own a house or apartment that is vacant and in good condition. Leasing your property under this scheme takes the uncertainty out of being a landlord for terms of 10-20 years. It is also financially viable with a guaranteed rental income of 80% of the market rent each month. 

    • Some of the benefits to the owner of this option are; 
    • No management of tenants. 
    • No rent or arrears collections. 
    • No day-to-day maintenance of the property. 
    • No advertising or administration fees. 
  • Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) 

    The Housing Assistance Payment is a form of social housing support provided to those who qualify for assistance and have long-term housing need. Under the scheme, payments are made on behalf of tenants directly to the landlord subject to maximum rent limits.  

    Benefits of HAP as an owner of a property are: 

    • Direct electronic payment monthly. 
    • No need for rent collection 
    • 100% tax relief on mortgage interest, as an expense against rental income. 

    Note: Homeless HAP is similar to HAP but differs in that it provides discretion to exceed the HAP rent limits for homeless households. 

  • Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) 

    The Rental Accommodation Scheme  is an initiative to cater for people who are in receipt of rent supplement and living in the private rented sector for 18 months or more. Local Authorities enter direct contracts with landlords for their properties for medium to long term periods.  

    Some of the benefits to owners are; 

    • Prompt payments directly from the Local Authority for the duration of the RAS contract. 
    • Landlords can get paid if the property is vacant between tenancies. 
    • 100% tax relief on mortgage interest, as an expense against rental income. 
  • Who Should I Contact? 

    If you wish to discuss your options further, you should contact the Vacant Homes Office;  

    Vacant Homes
    c/o Housing Office 
    College House 
    Station Road 
    Co. Mayo 
    F12 V126 

    Phone: +353 (0) 94 9064741


    Alternatively, you can contact the Vacant Homes Unit at 

    SEE ALSO: 

    Vacant Homes - Report Anonymously

    Rebuilding Ireland 

Back to top