Islington plans to tackle empty homes issue
Thu 11th December 2014, 2:41 pm
The London Borough of Islington is currently consulting on plans to put a limit on investors buying residential properties in the borough only to leave them unoccupied.
The proposal, Preventing Wasted Housing Supply, states that any new home which has been sold should be furnished at all times, be equipped for use as a home and be occupied for at least 14 days of every three months. The council hopes this will address the issue of so-called ‘Buy to Leave’: when individuals or companies buy new residential dwellings for speculative investment purposes only.
Islington Council has opened consultation on the plans after finding that 50% of residential units in new developments did not have registered voters, evidence to suggest that many homes are unoccupied.
The new ruling would mean owners who do not follow the regulation could be subject to legal action.
Councillor James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development, said: "In Islington, as across London, there is a desperate shortage of housing. It's wrong when new homes sit there empty purely as investments, when Londoners are desperately trying to find somewhere to live."