Mayor calls for higher council tax for empty properties in London

05 September 2017

The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is calling on the Government to allow boroughs in the capital to increase the empty homes Council Tax levy for high-value properties. He believes the move would encourage occupation of those properties and help generate more money for affordable housing.

Research by City Hall into foreign ownership of property in London shows greater numbers of empty homes in prime and expensive locations in London.

At the moment, councils can charge an empty homes levy – but its level is capped at 50 per cent of a property’s Council Tax rate. That means a property in the top band H in Westminster that might be worth many millions of pounds, will currently pay an empty homes levy no more than £688 a year.

The Mayor said councils should be able to charge the empty homes levy at a higher rate that would incentivise occupation, or generate more money to invest in new affordable homes and help tackle the housing crisis. 

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 levy on empty properties at a rate that makes a difference.

- Sadiq Khan

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