While some Councils in London like RBKC want more powers to get empty homes back in use to house social tenants and acknowledge some 621 long term empties within its boundaries (empty for over 2 years), other boroughs like Westminster City Council are in denial about this issue. They only acknowledge some 155 long term empty homes in their borough! As an adjoining much bigger West Central borough to RBKC, you would expect their figure to be much higher than the figure of 621 and certainly not as low as 155. As a result properties like 70-76 Bell St NW1 can lie empty for years and came to the notice of locals but certainly not the council.
There is clearly a need for some consistency across the boroughs in London on putting some energy behind the blight of empty homes in London but do not expect Westminster City Council to take the lead.
Furthermore RBKC chase their large empty property owners unlike City of Westminster who can’t be bothered. 51 Palace Court, W2 has been lying empty since 2012 according to some local residents.