Sadiq Khan is calling on the Government to seize London properties owned by allies of President Vladimir Putin, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions” for Russia on Thursday (24th February) after President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine.
Now, the Mayor of London is calling on the government to impose further punishments by seizing London properties owned by allies of Putin.
London housing market is being used as a “playground”
Transparency International estimates that 100 London properties, worth £1.1 billion in total, are owned by Russians linked to the Kremlin or having been accused of corruption, as they tie up their money in costly properties that are then left unoccupied.
Sadiq Khan said: “For far too long ministers have turned a blind eye to the use of our capital’s homes as a safe harbour for oligarchs to park their cash, which is having a negative impact on both our international reputation and our local housing market.
“Now is the time to act. London will always be open to foreign investment and the millions of people from around the world who choose to make our city home.
“But we must take proactive measures to insist on a greater contribution from overseas buyers, clamp down on those who look to exploit our openness, and use the money to invest in social and other low-cost homes for Londoners.”
Khan said overseas buyers should face a higher empty homes premium, an increase in capital gains tax from 28% to 40% and a higher rate of annual tax on companies investing in properties over £500,000.