Empty home landlords in Hackney to have council tax bill doubled

Rolling Stock in Shoreditch:Picture Ken Mears

Rolling Stock in Shoreditch:Picture Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Owners of empty homes in Hackney will have their council tax bill doubled under plans signed off by the town hall last week.

The empty property council tax premium will see homes that have been vacant for two years or more charged extra. It affects 419 properties and will raise an extra £200,000 a year.

The change was voted through at the full council meeting after the government changed the law to allow councils to increase the premium from 50 per cent to 100pc.

Cllr Rebecca Rennison said: “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.”

Cllr Rennison said the council would like to talk to owners of the properties about renting to families in need of a home, rather than treating their property as an investment.

The extra money will be used to fund other council services.