Levelling up and Regeneration Bill could force landlords to rent out commercial properties

Levelling up and Regeneration Bill could force landlords to rent out commercial properties

Over the weekend, ministers announced that the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill, expected to be unveiled in the Queen’s speech tomorrow, will give councils the power to force landlords to rent out empty properties they own.

Currently shops can stand empty for years, blighting the high street and wasting opportunities for new jobs. New legislation could force landlords to rent out commercial properties.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, confirmed the introduction of “local design codes” which would allow residents to decide what sort of new buildings should be allowed in their area. The Government hopes this will encourage communities to allow more development overall, in time reducing the cost of housing and letting more people own their own home.

Michael Gove said:

“By empowering local communities to rent out shops which have been sat empty for a year or longer, we will end the scourge of boarded up shops that have blighted some of our great towns across the country for far too long.

“These measures will breathe new life into high streets, transforming once-bustling communities into vibrant places to live and work once again and restoring local pride as we level up across the country.”

Councils will also be given greater powers to drive regeneration through Compulsory Purchase Orders, making it quicker and easier for councils to use powers to deliver local housing and infrastructure.

Compulsory Purchase Orders allow acquiring authorities, including local public bodies, to acquire buildings without needing the consent of the owner for public benefit. This may include acquiring land to build social housing or other regeneration projects.

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