Empty homes

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

Empty homes matter

Empty properties are a wasted resource. They cost money in tax and maintainence and lost rental income. They often fall into disrepair or attract vermin which can blight the area.

You can obtain substantial VAT reductions.

If your property has been empty for 2 years or over you will be able to claim a VAT reduction on the cost of returning it to residential use to 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.

If you have previously informed the council tax team that the property is empty and from what date, or if you can provide evidence of non-occupation, we can provide a document which may assist you to reduce your VAT costs.

Where the owner is failing to restore an empty dwelling within a reasonable time then we may start statutory enforcement action to deal with any nuisances arising from it.

Council tax must be paid on second homes and empty properties. Since 1 April 2019, any property that has been empty for more than 2 years is charged a 100% premium council tax rate. This means you will pay double the normal amount.

Two classes of properties are exempt from the premium:

  • a dwelling which is the only 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.

Find out about our private sector leasing and letting schemes.


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