25 Sep

Empty property owners 'should not be subsidised by the taxpayer'

Empty property owners 'should not be subsidised by the taxpayer'

Team Association customers might be interested to read that one property expert has claimed that taxpayers should not "subsidise" empty property owners.

David Ireland, chief executive at the Empty Homes Agency, said that six to 12 months' tax relief should be placed on an empty property to allow the owner to make it hospitable.

His comments follow the remarks of Northern Ireland finance minister Sammy Wilson, who announced that plans to place rates on empty properties in the county have been delayed until April 2011 because of the state of the housing market.

"The best thing to do if you are going to have taxation on an empty property is to bring it back into use and then you have got an occupant there bringing in rent," stated Mr Ireland.

He added that the problem with having many empty homes in one location stems from the "eroding confidence" when one property becomes vacant in an area and no action is taken.

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