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Private landlords 'should not be blamed for empty homes' claim

Private landlords and second-home owners are not the villains of the piece when it comes to empty homes in London. Instead, local councils are to blame.

The claim has come from property fund London Central Portfolio, which said that the Government should not be trying to put the blame on private landlords.

With 354,389 families on waiting lists for social homes in London, LCP found that in one borough alone – Hackney – almost half of the empty homes are council-owned, compared with 7% in the country as a whole.

In Tower Hamlets, 39% of empty homes are owned by the council and housing associations.

Naomi Heaton, chief executive of London Central Portfolio, said: “London is portrayed as an exclusive domain of the very rich – and as a ghost town overflowing with vacant second homes.”

She said this was completely untrue, with only 6% of properties in London being held as second homes.

She added: “London’s housing crisis is the result of failed government schemes.

“Accountability needs to fall with the authorities rather than private landlords.

“Whilst planning minister Nick Boles is advocating the development of greenfield sites, attention should also be focused closer to home with an initiative to bring empty homes in London’s poorest boroughs back into use.

“It will be cheaper, quicker and more sustainable.”

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