Increase council tax charges on empty homes, says Khan

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged the government to allow London’s boroughs to increase council tax bills for high-value homes that are left empty.

Khan wants boroughs be able to boost the empty home council tax levy on high-value properties above the current 50 per cent of council tax allowed, saying that the ability to charge this levy at a meaningful rate will ‘incentivise occupation’ and ‘generate a more substantial receipt’ of support for investment in new affordable homes.

Khan said: “The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing our city today and I’ve been honest with Londoners from the start – we won’t turn things round overnight. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint and we need to be able to take robust action to tackle it.

“In the midst of a housing crisis, just one home left unoccupied is one too many. That is why I will be working closely with boroughs like Westminster City Council to fight Londoners’ corner by calling for the dovernment to allow boroughs to charge a higher council tax on empty properties at a rate that makes a difference.”

Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster Council, said: “I support the Mayor’s proposal for greater flexibility to be afforded to local authorities around the amount that could be levied on empty homes. Not only is it an important message to send out, it would also generate additional funds to be invested in our areas for the benefit of local residents. Along with the Mayor I have made it my priority to ensure that we have genuinely affordable housing in the heart of the capital.”

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