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Haringey to double council tax on empty properties UK News

With 1,000 homes in the borough currently standing vacant, Haringey Council’s cabinet has voted to charge 200 per cent on properties left empty for just 12 months  — reduced from the current rule of two years — as a stick to bring them back into use.

“We are determined to turn empty dwellings into homes,” Cllr Dana Carlin warned. “London is in the grip of a housing crisis. Bringing unoccupied homes into use is part of the solution.”

There are an estimated 34,000 long-term empty homes across London, more than half the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation, while Haringey gets 4,400 applications a year from people who are homeless.

“Empty properties drive up the cost of renting,” Cllr Carlin added. “Affordable homes are in short supply so it’s fair that those who keep properties empty should contribute to preventing homelessness — or maybe find socially-responsible ways to provide income.” 

The tough council tax charge would apply from April 1 on long-term empty properties.

There are also plans for a new double tax on furnished ‘second homes’ and holiday lets for the times they are left vacant, to be levied from April 2025.

Both measures follow changes in legislation after pressure on the Government from many local authorities for more powers to help tackle the housing crisis.

There are currently 1,028 properties that Haringey says have been empty for between 12 months and five years, according to its calculations. The council claims the premium could raise an extra £900,000 a year for the town hall coffers. 

Another 1,067 properties are registered as fully furnished second homes, including 479 with no-one living in them for more than a year. 

High inflation pushing up the cost-of-living is blamed for more people facing homelessness. 

The sweeping measures will also help towards services hit by cuts in the council’s budget. Core government funding for Haringey is estimated to be £143m less a year in real terms than it was in 2010.

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This notice was published: 2024-01-19 07:00:00

By Times Series

Times Series, The News from the London borough of Barnet, and Borehamwood & Elstree.

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