Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London calls for higher council tax charges on empty homes

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has written to the government requesting that London’s boroughs are given permission to increase council tax bills for empty, high-value homes.

Mr Khan commissioned a report last year on overseas investment in London’s property market which found that although the number of entirely empty homes was very low overall, there was a greater number of empty homes in prime and expensive locations.

It was found that in Westminster’s top tax band H – where properties may be worth many millions of pounds – the empty homes levy would currently only generate £688 a year.

In his letter, Mr Khan asked for boroughs to be able to increase the empty home council tax levy on high-value properties above the 50% of council tax currently allowed. 

Mr 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 government to allow boroughs to charge a higher council tax on empty properties at a rate that makes a difference.”

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