Rental vacancy rates are at record lows across Queensland. The situation is so dire that many families have no choice but to sleep in cars or tents. Meanwhile, 87,000 homes across Queensland are sitting empty. Wealthy property investors are leaving perfectly good properties empty.
For many wealthy investors, they get far more money from rising property values than they do from rents. For decades, successive state and Federal governments have propped up a housing system that makes it more profitable to leave a house empty than rent it out.
That’s why I've tabled a bill to introduce an Empty Homes Levy on investors who deliberately leave residential properties empty. By making it costly to leave a property empty, the Levy will put tens of thousands of homes back on the rental market: the Land Tax and Other Legislation (Empty Homes Levy) Amendment Bill 2022.
The Empty Homes Levy will:
- Introduce a 5% levy on the value of any residential property that has been vacant for six months in a year.
- Introduce a 5% levy on the value of any undeveloped land left vacant for six months in a year if that land is suitable for building residential properties.
For example, an owner with an empty apartment worth $400,000 would have to pay an annual levy of $20,000. This would encourage the owner to find a tenant or sell that apartment to someone who will.