Monday, 27 January 2014

Boris backs Camden empty property levy from Davos

Speaking from the World Economic Development Forum in Davos, London Mayor Boris Johnson may have caused ripples in the ranks of the London Conservative councils by calling for them to adopt Camden's approach for Council Tax to be "whacked up" to 150% for long-term empty properties.

Speaking in today's Times (page 8) he said:  "I see no reason why Kensington and Chelsea shouldn't apply the same measure" and added, "If 150 per cent increase isn't enough, I'd go up a multiple of that."  

Last year Camden increased Council tax to 150% on furnished properties left empty for more than 2 years. This move led to a reduction in the number of empty homes in the borough by 35% in just nine months.

Camden, like neighbouring Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham has a high number of long-term empty homes.    There is concern that properties are purchased but then left empty for quick sale as investments for wealthy overseas buyers. Seeing as property prices went up in Camden by 4.4% in one month alone, you can see why.  

Advocacy of further extension to the levy will put Boris Johnson at odds with the government: Camden's levy was so successful we asked the government in August if we could extend the policy to close further loopholes - but were quickly rebuffed by Conservative minister Brandon Lewis, who called such a step "punitive."

No comments:

Post a Comment