Empty property owners could face fines

Posted: 23/08/2012

Due to the diminishing housing market, lack of new homes being built and ever lengthening social housing list as well as the growing amount of people renting, trade unions are urging politicians to reconsider the amount of tax levied on empty properties. If changes do take place it could mean that anyone who owns a property that is vacant could face a penalty if reasonable steps are not taken to ensure the property is occupied.

According to a report carried out by GMB, the North West has more than 130,000 vacant properties, placing it at the top of the list for empty properties in all nine English regions. This is bad news when the population has grown, house prices have increased in almost all areas of the North West and not forgetting the ever increasing rent.

The GMB regional secretary, Paul McCarthy suggests adding a condition in the planning permission of a property which would ensure owners take all reasonable steps to guarantee properties are not left empty.

This news comes when another report reveals almost three quarters of people in the UK are living with other family members after their 18th birthday. The report was carried out by Aviva who discovered the financial benefits of living with family members including saving an average of £225 a month.

Over 73% of the 2,000 people Aviva surveyed admitted to living with their family as an adult, most being young adults living with their parents. Another study recently carried out by ONS exposed that almost 3 million people aged between 20 and 34 lived with their parents, a 20% increase than the figures gathered in 1997.

Aviva’s study revealed that 37% of people who are living with their parents are looking for a job, 30% are living with their parents whilst waiting to go to university and 18% of people still living with their parents whilst studying. 28% of people admitted to leaving their family home and then having to return in their late 20s and 13% confessed to flying back to their parents nest a third time but 61% of these people stayed for less than a year compared to a typical three year stay of adults returning home for the second time.

If you own a property that is vacant, what do you think of the possible introduction of charges. Are you an adult currently living with your parents? If so, what are the main reasons you’re staying at home and do you have any ambitions to fly from your parents nest?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
www.paliltd.com

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