The government are being urged to bring forward tax measures to address the rise of empty homes. New figures reveal that between October 2017 and October 2018 the number of empty homes in England increased by almost 30,000 from almost 606,000 to over 634,000.
Of these, the number of homes classed as being empty for six months or more increased by over 10,000 from more than 205,000 in October 2017 to over 216,000 in October 2018.
With the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warning that the supply of new homes for private rent “continue to dwindle” whilst tenant demand increases, the Residential Landlords Association is calling for pro-growth tax measures to bring empty homes back into use.
The RLA is urging the Government to scrap its additional stamp duty levy on the purchase of new homes to rent where landlords invest in long term empty homes and bring them back into use within a reasonable period of time.
John Stewart, policy manager for the RLA said, “The scandal of empty homes at a time when so many are finding it difficult to access accommodation is just one reason why pro-growth tax is needed. The Government should support good landlords to do what they have always been good at investing in property and bringing it back into long term use.”