Number of empty homes is actually increasing!

Number of empty homes is actually increasing!

9:48 AM, 12th March 2019, About 3 years ago 9

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THE Government needs to bring forward tax measures to address the scourge of empty homes as new figures reveal an increase in the number of homes without anyone living in them.

According to figures out today, 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 having warned 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.


Rob Crawford

11:11 AM, 13th March 2019, About 3 years ago

No detail on why these homes are vacant then - any ideas? Maybe landlords wanting to sell up but no buyers! Is this evidence that Osborne's S24 strategy is not working?


14:13 PM, 13th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 13/03/2019 - 11:11Here is my reason for leaving my BTL unit empty since April 2018.
The serial tenant cheat who gained access to my unit took 8 months to evict and she almost destroyed my unit during her tenancy. It took me months to empty it, clean it and renovate it. I was so traumatised by the difficulty of evicting a non paying tenant from my property, hindered and undermined by UK legislation, that I decided I would prefer to sell up rather than continue as a landlord and subject myself to housing another parasite at my cost ever again. The ongoing saga of Brexit and it's effect on London property, not to mention the cladding issue on new builds, meant it took 6 long months to achieve an acceptable offer, and has resulted in me accepting GBP30 000 less on my property. Contracts have not yet been exchanged so the sale may still fall through.
My unit has stood empty for a year. The losses are substantial but I will never permit a tenant into any of my properties again.
UK landlord/tenant legislation has ensured my determined departure from the BTL market.

dismayed landlord

14:37 PM, 13th March 2019, About 3 years ago

My last H/B tenant took 10 months to get an eviction. The judge bent over backwards to give her opportunity after opportunity. In the end I had to agree not to pursue the arrears. Total fiasco. During this period she threatened to call the police if I or anyone connected with me went near the property. Up until then we had a very good relationship even though there was arrears for three years plus. Then I get possession and its trashed. I also never bothered to even attempt to renovate I just wanted rid off. I'll never take another H/B. and the reason for the increase in empty properties - I have 5 now. I am no longer interested in letting. Selling up but buyers all want new properties. I can afford to wait. I'll sell one per year. Minimise the CGT liability and hold a position in the vague hope common sense returns to the RPS. Meanwhile house prices around here are still creeping up. not much but more than I can get as a return in the banking sector.

bob young

8:51 AM, 14th March 2019, About 3 years ago

My 2 London properties are empty as I am tired of the endless regulations being imposed by the government and also the quality of applicants for tenancies. I had one on the market in the autumn and if the estate genct had been more professional, a deal for a reasonably good price woud have been struck. I'm now waiting for Spring weather and a bit of certainty over Brexit and I will remarket and put the second on the market too. Of course, I failed to mention I'm worried about Sadiq Khan getting a second term as London Mayor in view of his policy platform apparently to be rent control in London.


11:14 AM, 14th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by bob young at 14/03/2019 - 08:51
A Labour government is far more frightening!
It appears that as the huge demand for social housing increases and government attempts to appease the proletariat - who are overwhelmingly classed as "generation rent" and let's be frank it is a choice not an excuse by "generation rent" to remain mortgage free - by consistently meddling in the PRS the shortage of housing will continue. Add to this the unethical and distasteful tenant mentality created by the government, Councils, Shelter and CAB, especially with regards to gatekeeping and non accountability for rent arrears and damages, and it becomes quite apparent that the UK has birthed a "homeless" disaster of their own making. The government's attempts to make the PRS responsible for this has backfired. And rightly so.


12:02 PM, 14th March 2019, About 3 years ago

I have 4 units empty, the risk to reward has shifted too far in favour of tenants. I was speaking to another landlord a few weeks ago who is renting rooms in an HMO as storage units.

dismayed landlord

13:34 PM, 14th March 2019, About 3 years ago

Landlord 35 . nice idea thanks. I have garages I could let separately. Help contribute to the Council Tax. Though my view is that the less profit I make the less I pay in tax. Also if I can get below the threshold I can pay less in CGT when I do sell once every year. OK I make less overall but then I now have more stress free time to spend it (time and money) in Spain. Where everything I enjoy is cheaper and with a better climate. I may not be 'better' of financially but I am much less stressed. The long term tenants (some up to 18 years) I have virtually look after themselves. They do minor repairs if they can and I've always kept maintenance and repairs issues up to date. The proof is in the long term relationships I have with most of my tenants. I should never have started taking H/B claimants and certainly not used any of these companies touting for business to put social housing tenants in. They are the real parasites. Sucking funds from local authorities whilst scamming off private landlords.

Michael Holmes

0:09 AM, 15th March 2019, About 3 years ago

I have two small chalet type buildings which I have let out to professionals in the past. The Council Tax on these has increased to over £120 per month, they are basically one room properties with separate bathroom and toilet. I can’t realistically get more than £350 per month in Falmouth and that includes bills. When you factor in the hassle involved with letting, the new regulations pending and the maintenance costs, it has become clear to me that both these units are uneconomic, so they have both had a change of use to storage units only. I am sure many of the PRS landlords are thinking along the same lines.


15:39 PM, 21st March 2019, About 3 years ago

Its just a bit of common sense in policy that's needed, instead of looking for a villain in the story and pointing the finger at landlords... don't get me wrong, I have been to look at units that a few landlords are offloading because they are fed up of people withholding rent and been shocked... wow, some I wouldn't keep cattle in and wonder why anyone paid rent in the first place, but that's a very small few... as disgusting as they are to give us all a bad name.
I've never got why they clog up the courts and waste all that time & money going nowhere when thigs could be so much more simple. In my opinion, Rather than introduce crazy restrictions on evictions and taking it through court, why not introduce housing case officers that have some powers of eviction and leeway in making decisions themselves, then everything can be taken case by case and straight away... every party is viewed as they are without there being a predetermined Villain and it would create some jobs in the process! Heaven forbid that there maybe something straight forward, efficient, beneficial and real in this country.

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