Following coverage in the London press on the Mayor of London's support for Camden raising Council Tax to 150% on long term empty homes and desire to extend it, see here as well, the Guardian investigated the notorious Bishop's Avenue.
Think tank Civitas has also called on the government to introduce Australian-style rules to ensure that foreign property buyers invest in their properties.
Labour MP Clive Betts today echoed our call for more local flexibility - Camden is asking the government for the ability to increase the levy to 200% for empty furnished properties vacant for one year and help to close loopholes where these properties are classified as 'second homes.'
The Government has taken the step of issuing a response to the Guardian article, focusing on the new homes bonus.
The Government regard the current 50% rate of empty homes premium as appropriate. Camden’s response is that a higher rate (100%) is appropriate in our setting. While we welcome additional funding through new homes bonus it is hard to plan medium term when even this funding has been reduced and it is slightly disingenuous for Ministers to claim to be rewarding authorities when they have just reduced the size of the reward.