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Empty Property: Urban Areas

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 38875, tabled on 18 July 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill on local authority powers regarding empty high street properties with owners and leaseholders residing overseas.

Answered on

25 July 2022

This Government is committed, through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, to empower local authorities to reinvigorate their high streets and town centres.

High Street Rental Auctions will seek to increase cooperation between landlords and local authorities to make town centre tenancies more accessible and affordable for tenants, including SMEs and community groups.

Through the Register of Overseas Entities which is being developed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, local authorities will be able to gather information on overseas landlords. If overseas landlords own UK property via an overseas entity in scope of the Register of Overseas Entities, they will be required to register details with Companies House, including about their beneficial owners.