Johnson: Tax Empty Homes

Boris Johnson has called for a minimum of a tenfold rise in council tax for owners of homes left to stand empty for more than a year.

Mr Johnson praised Camden Council for charging 150% council tax rates on homes that have been empty for more than two years but argued councils should go further.

Helen Williams, chief executive of the Empty Homes Agency, welcomed his remarks, adding that “there is a case for reviewing property taxes as a whole to…ensure that the housing market functions better for those seeking a home they can afford.”

Source: The Guardian

We say: Oh the power!

Tax the empty. Tax the full. Tax it all!

Strikes us as a rather odd attempt to get the housing market to function properly – when you consider that the über-rich who can happily afford to keep vacant mansion flats in Kensington & Chelsea will notice the additional tax as one would bat away an irritating fly. Plus it probably wouldn’t be hard to simply avoid the tax by careful occupation….

Could it be that most likely to be affected are would-be landlords struggling to let out while funding their own way through an expensive renovation project?

Blunt instrument, anyone?

David Whiscombe


View Profile