More than 2,500 properties in Newham lay empty

Property owners should be punished for leaving their rooms empty, union leaders say.

Newham contained almost 2,500 vacant dwellings at the last count in October 2011, according to the GMB.

This amounted to 2.1 per cent of the borough’s total housing stock.

In London there are 74,553 vacant dwellings. Westminster has the highest number of empty properties with 3,759.

Paul Hayes, from the GMB, said: “Politicians and the public authorities need to look again at the level of tax levied on properties that are empty.

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“The systems needs to be tilted in a way that property owners face penalties if they do not take all reasonable steps to ensure that dwellings are occupied.”

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