The council is looking for new powers

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Kensington and Chelsea council is currently aiming to acquire new powers. They want to take over empty homes and utilise them as housing for social tenants. The authority has also pleaded their case to the government. Council members want it to alter the regulations for taking over these vacant homes.

At present, the Borough possesses 621 empty and unfurnished properties that have been in this condition for over two years. Some have values of over £1million. In addition one has a value that’s in the £30million region. Sadly the owners do not show any interest in taking on tenants.

The established regulations

The current rules state that the council can only seize certain properties. They can only go for ones that are magnets for antisocial behaviour like vandalism. However, they want these rules relaxed. Doing this would make targeting all the empty buildings faster, simpler, and more financially feasible.

The council’s deputy leader had a suggestion; giving property owners tax breaks on their rental income. This is if they permit the council to lease their houses and flats. He believes that owners shouldn’t lose out because of their decision to let with the local authority. They wish to collaborate with the property investors so everyone benefits.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government has issued a response to this. Right now, there aren’t any plans to adjust the existing rules. They said local authorities hold specific powers. Therefore they are free to use them to address long-term empty homes.

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