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Empty Property

Question for Department for Communities and Local Government

UIN 44153, tabled on 2 September 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of indefinitely vacant properties.

Answered on

6 September 2016

Our strong record on the economy has created a strong buoyant housing market where owners of empty properties are bringing these homes back into use without government intervention. As a result the number of empty properties are at their lowest since records began.

Local authorities have powers and incentives to tackle empty homes. Through the New Homes Bonus they earn the same financial reward for bringing an empty home back into use as building a new one. Councils may also charge up to 150% council tax for homes empty over two years. We have extended permitted development rights to make it easier to convert property from business to residential to give life to thousands of empty buildings.