Islington council to punish "buy to leave" investors
Watch out if you are a landlord in Islington that has purchased a buy to let property that has not been occupied. Many international investors have purchased homes across the London vorough of Islington with a view to keeping the properties empty and not letting them out. According to Islington council this needs to be stamped out as it is adding to the acute housing shortage across the borough
. According to the council 30% of new homes that have been built over the last six years have been left empty whilst price increases across the capital have soared. The council is pushing ahead with plans that will insist that landlords must prove that their buy to let investments are occupied. If they do not respond to the council they will face high court injunctions which if breached could bring fines and possibly repossessions. In the worst cases it could also mean that some landlords go to prison.
The council have said that out of 2,000 new homes built over the last six years over 600 were unoccupied with nobody on the electoral register. Even if students and foreign tenants are discounted nearly 25% of newly built homes are still left empty. New rules being laid out by the council will insist that landlords have up to date utility bills as well as delivery receipts and registration documents for health services. T
hey may even be asked to prove that the properties are fully furnished. The news has been welcomed by campaigners against empty homes but there is fierce opposition from property developers who dear that demand for their new homes may fall if they are forced to tell buyers what they can and can't do with there property investment.
There have been critism of the proposals by property developers who will have to make clear in their marketing particulars that the homes can not be left empty for more than three months and must be let for 13 days in any three month period. The council have said that they can no longer ignore the fact that so many homes have been left empty purely for speculative reasons by property investors. It is having the effect of pushing prices even higher because of the lack of supply of new homes.