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Support landlords and bring empty homes back into use

Thursday 14 March 2019

The Government is being urged to bring forward tax measures to address the rise of empty homes, after new figures revealed the number in England increased by around 30,000 from almost 606,000 to over 634,000 in the 12 months to October 2018.

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 (RICS) warning that the supply of new homes for private rent “continue to dwindle” whilst tenant demand increases, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) 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.”

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