Sadiq Khan: Let town halls increase council tax on empty luxury homes

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Town halls should be allowed to increase council tax charged on empty luxury properties in central London, Sadiq Khan said today.

The Mayor wrote to ministers calling for boroughs to be given the power to put up the levy on high-value homes standing empty above the current 50 per cent.

City Hall believes this could encourage occupation and generate substantial funds to support investment in new affordable homes and other measures to tackle the housing crisis.

It follows a report last year into foreign investment in the capital’s property market. It found that although the overall number of empty homes was low, there were substantial numbers in prime locations.

The Mayor’s call, ahead of his housing strategy this week, was backed by Tory-run Westminster council where the problem is particularly acute. 

Westminster’s top band-H properties may be worth many millions of pounds but their empty homes levy is capped at £688 a year.

Mr Khan said: “In the midst of a housing crisis just one home left un-occupied is one too many. I will be working with boroughs like Westminster to call for the Government to allow boroughs to charge a higher council tax on empty properties.”

Westminster council leader Nickie Aiken added: “Not only is it an important message to send out, it would generate funds to be invested in our areas.”


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