Empty homes

If you've got property sitting empty, we can help you bring it back into use and tackle London's housing shortage.

Empty homes matter

Empty properties are a wasted resource, to the owner and to the community as a whole. They cost money to tax and maintain and represent a significant amount of lost rental income. They are often a nuisance which devalues the area.

We want to encourage and help owners and managers to bring them back into use.

We can help you obtain substantial VAT reductions.

If your property has been empty for two years or over you will be able to claim a VAT reduction on the cost of returning it to residential use. VAT will be reduced to a rate of 5% instead of the usual 20%. This could save you a great deal of money on the overall building contract sum. Renovation works to properties empty for over 10 years will be zero-rated if you intend to live in the property yourself.

The council can provide you with documentation that will satisfy HMRC that you are entitled to the discount, if you have informed the council tax team that the property is empty and from what date, or if you can provide evidence of non-occupation.

Where dwellings have been vacant for a long time and the owner is failing to restore it within a reasonable time then we may start statutory enforcement action to deal with any nuisances arising from it.

The full rate of council tax must be paid on second homes and empty properties. 

Since 1 April 2019, any property that has been empty for more than two years will be charged a 100 per cent premium council tax rate. This means you will pay double the amount. An empty property can be unoccupied or substantially unfurnished.

Two classes of properties are exempt from the premium:

  • a dwelling which is the sole or main residence of a member of the armed forces away from the property on active service
  • a dwelling which forms part of a single property which is occupied.

Allow us to save you money by helping you to bring your property back into use.

Find out about our private sector leasing and letting schemes


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