Islington Labour has announced radical plans to take on the scourge of homes in the borough being bought-up and left empty, a practice known as ‘buy-to-leave’. 

Buy-to-leave is adding to the housing crisis facing Islington and London, and is making it even harder for local people to find an affordable home. According to council research, as many as a third or more of homes in some new developments are potentially vacant.

Under plans the council has drawn-up and is currently consulting on, new homes could not be left unoccupied or unused for longer than three months. If a property is left unoccupied for more than three months, legal action could be taken and those persistently breaking the rules could be fined or face going to prison. 

Cllr James Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today Programme’ about the proposals. You can listen again below – 

Cllr Murray commented: “It’s wrong when new homes sit there empty purely to as investments, when Londoners are desperately trying to find somewhere to live. Our new proposals would make sure that all new homes in Islington occupied – we want to send a message that ‘buy-to-leave’ is unacceptable.”

You can respond to the consultation before 30th January 2015 by clicking here.

Islington Labour is delivering the biggest building programme in a generation of affordable homes and homes for social rent. The Council will build 2,000 new affordable homes by 2015, and is committed to delivering a further 1,500 new homes for social rent by 2019. 

We are also committed to making a difference to residents who live in private rented accommodation. We are soon to open a not-for-profit lettings agency that will offer private tenants and landlords a trusted and affordable alternative to expensive or rogue lettings agent

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