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Is Southwark Council moving out Londoners with new luxury housing developments?

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Monday 31 March 2014 6.49pm
Tolstoy wrote:

Thanks for that link. Interesting.
Monday 31 March 2014 7.57pm
eDWaRD WooDWaRD wrote:
Tolstoy wrote:

Thanks for that link. Interesting.

Interesting, but seems like a gimmick given how difficult it would be to apply. Is it only for new homes? And what does "occupied regularly throughout the year" mean? If it's just utility bills that would be pretty easy to avoid. If you actually have to prove occupancy it would have an unbelievable burden on both occupiers and the council. What if you travel a lot for work, or have to return home to care for a loved one for an extended period - do you have to pay an "unoccupied fine"? Sounds more like a pre-election sound bite to me.
Tuesday 1 April 2014 8.04am
Interesting article, the buy to leaves are a serious problem. Never mind the spooky sight of whole buildings with only two windows lit at night. How one legislates "occupancy" I don't know. It smacks of big brother. But there must be some way. If we can get to the moon....
Tuesday 1 April 2014 8.51am
I've just returned from three months travelling SE Asia and agreed with my landlord the dates of my travel. In the meantime I had a 'caretaker' live here rather than leave the flat empty. This is surely the model of 'occupancy' being talked of in the article.

There has to be a better system than leaving high profile developments empty, that's common sense... isn't it? I don't profess to appreciate the complexities of it, but something feels terribly wrong.

Of course the frighteningly abstract nature of buying up property (see Sjac's post) means people don't really come into the equation.
Tuesday 1 April 2014 10.34am
People complain about home shortage, yet there appear to be over 700.000 empty homes in the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/increasing-the-number-of-available-homes/supporting-pages/empty-homes
Tuesday 1 April 2014 4.13pm
Surely the most appealing properties for the overseas investor are the high-end ones with porters and/or key-cards, etc? In that case, proving occupancy should be relatively straight-forward... Alternatively, within central London, the council tax could be doubled, tripled whatever - with a corresponding tax credit being applied for providing some sort of proof that you were in the area each quarter. Or, less obtrusively, a hefty sales tax could be levied on any property sold where the owner can not prove that the property has not been lived in for at least 3 months in the past year.

The properties are being left empty because it is perceived that they will be easier to sell on if they are empty - they can also be sold whenever convenient without any issues regarding tenancy rights. Taking away that convenience and/or making the venture less profitable without tenancy should help reduce the problem - or at least provide locals an extra sideline in selling 'proof of residency' documentation on eBay ;-)
Tuesday 1 April 2014 6.05pm
DavidS wrote:
Alternatively, within central London, the council tax could be doubled, tripled whatever - with a corresponding tax credit being applied for providing some sort of proof that you were in the area each quarter.
when you say council tax, you do just mean for the luxury buildings, yeah?
cause council tax is high enough in the littler buildings as is!
Tuesday 1 April 2014 8.10pm
yes...council tax is way high enough already but an increase on super-luxury properties would hardly raise a murmur of complaint
Zoe
Wednesday 2 April 2014 7.07am
Well it would lead to complaints from the super rich. There aren't many of them but they control the media so we would suddenly find the news covered nothing but this 'horrible' new tax, which is so unfair on everyone.
Wednesday 2 April 2014 7.53am
rosepetal wrote:
DavidS wrote:
Alternatively, within central London, the council tax could be doubled, tripled whatever - with a corresponding tax credit being applied for providing some sort of proof that you were in the area each quarter.
when you say council tax, you do just mean for the luxury buildings, yeah?
cause council tax is high enough in the littler buildings as is!

No, I meant for every building - but a corresponding tax credit being applied would mean that the actual amount that we have to pay does not increase, as we can all provide proof that we are actually living in the area.

The actual amount paid by people living in the luxury buildings would also not increase - but foreign investors who decide to leave their properties empty would either have to make regular trips to London or face a 1-2% loss of profit (which, on paper, would be enough to make other investments more appealing)
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