Owners of empty homes to pay double Council Tax

The owners of long-term empty homes in Haringey will be forced to pay double their Council Tax to help tackle the housing crisis.

row of houses

Owners of long-term empty homes in London’s Haringey will be charged 200% Council Tax on properties that have been empty for 12 months rather than 24 to encourage owners to bring them back into use.

The charge, which will take effect on 1 April 2024, comes alongside plans for a new double Council Tax bill on fully furnished second homes and holiday lets for the periods they are empty from 1 April 2025.


It is estimated that in London alone there are 34,000 long-term empty dwellings, including more than 1,000 in Haringey.

dana carlin
Councillor Dana Carlin, Haringey Council

Councillor Dana Carlin, Cabinet Member for Finance and Local Investment, says: “We are determined to turn Haringey’s empty dwellings into new homes.

Londoners are in the grip of a housing crisis, and bringing unoccupied homes into use is part of the solution.

“Across the capital there are more than 34,000 long-term empty homes – that is over half the number of London households that are currently homeless and living in temporary accommodation.”

She adds: “When affordable and good quality homes are in such short supply, empty properties – whether it is a short-term holiday let, a second home, or a home left empty – drives up the cost of renting locally.


“We believe it’s fair that those who can afford to keep their properties unoccupied for long periods of time should either contribute more to preventing homelessness or explore more socially responsible ways for their properties to provide them income.”

According to Council Tax base calculations, there are currently 1,028 properties in Haringey which have been empty for between 12 months and five years.  Applying the premium is expected to raise an additional £900,000 a year.

Even more properties, 1,067, are registered as fully furnished second homes – 479 with no resident for more than a year and 588 for less than 12 months.

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