Owners of empty homes to pay double Council Tax

Owners of empty homes will be forced to pay double their Council Tax bill under plans approved by councillors this week.

The Empty Property Council Tax Premium will see homes which have been empty for two years or more charged extra. There are currently 419 properties which would qualify for the Premium, which will raise an additional £200,000 a year.

The decision follows a change in government legislation which allows councils to increase the premium from 50% to 100% if they wish.


Cllr Rebecca Rennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Housing Needs
It cannot be right that so many homes are lying empty while London is in the grip of a housing crisis. In Hackney alone we have over 13,000 people on our housing waiting list, and residents have been asking us to increase Council Tax for empty properties for a long time. Now we finally have the power to do that, we’re pleased to be taking tough action to raise much needed income for the Council.

We also continue to invite the owners of empty homes to talk to us about renting out their property to a local family in need, so that homes can be put to use, rather than being treated purely as an investment.
Cllr Rebecca Rennison, Cabinet Member for Finance and Housing Needs

The extra income will help to fund vital Council services, helping to plug the gap left by government funding cuts. Since 2010, the government has cut Hackney’s grant by nearly half - £140m - and by 2022/23 it will have cut a further £30m, while demand for services is increasing all the time.

The decision was agreed as part of the Council Tax Base and Local Business Rate Income report at Wednesday’s Council meeting.

The Council will set its budget, including the rate of Council Tax for 2019/20 on 27 February.

For information about renting your property, please contact the Housing Supply Team on 020 8356 4411.