HOMEOWNERS who leave properties empty while they rise in value will face the law under plans announced yesterday by Islington Council.
The Labour-run London authority is the first to require new homeowners under suspicion of vacating for more than three months to prove occupation with council tax records, energy bills and the electoral register — or face High Court injunctions and fines.
Around 30 per cent of households in both “affordable” and market-priced flats are not recorded on the electoral register and would be investigated, the council said.
“It’s wrong if new homes are sold off-plan to investors who don’t even rent the properties out,” said Islington Council executive member for housing and development Councillor James Murray.
“Our new measures make it clear that ‘buy-to-leave’ is unacceptable. They make clear that new homes have to, at the very least, be lived in.
“I think that’s a pretty reasonable thing to ask.”