First of all I would like to thank Nick Clegg for this opportunity to have some useful input directly into government policy. My personal circumstances are that my current landlord has given me 60 days notice to leave my private let (via a letting agent) house because he needs to sell in order to repay certain debts he has acquired in the current economic climate.
The area I live in there simply isn’t any housing available to let privately, and those that are coming onto the market are well above my finical means. I earn too much for the local council to help me. I need to be homeless for a minimum of 30 days before the council can offer any help.
There are plenty of empty houses in the area I drive past dozens on my way to work so who knows how many more there are in the side roads. These are of course investment properties whereby the owners are waiting for the property market to recover before they restore, develop, or just redecorate to sell on for a profit.
This is a situation that simply does not exist in Germany. The German government charges a ‘Land Tax’ on all property. With residential properties the residents pay the land tax as part of their council tax.
Often in some city areas the land tax is higher that the council tax thus encouraging property owners to have tenants occupying their properties as much as possible.
Why does this idea matter?
Such a tax in the UK would generate much needed income for the government and help resolve at least part of the housing shortage in the UK.