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To think that buy to leave should be made a criminal offence

(69 Posts)
ReallyTired Wed 02-Dec-15 22:38:30

I feel it's criminal foreign investors buying flats and neither living in them nor renting them out to keep them pristine. I feel that councils should have the right to compulsorily take over the property and find s tenant after two years. I am not sure what can be done if the owner claims it's a holiday let. (Maybe evidence of bookings)

TwoSmellyDogs Wed 02-Dec-15 22:54:51

A criminal offence? Really? Punishable by death or what would you prefer?

TheSecondViola Wed 02-Dec-15 22:57:00

Very Stalinist of you. fhmm

HelenaDove Wed 02-Dec-15 23:00:27

What should be made a criminal offence is landlords leaving tenants without essentials like heating and hot water for weeks/months on end. There needs to be a charge of "causing unnecessary suffering" enshrined in law to encompass it so it is dealt with more swiftly The current process takes too long.

janethegirl2 Wed 02-Dec-15 23:04:56

If someone wants to buy a property, leave it empty, they will have council tax and standing charges for gas/ electricity if they need to avoid burst pipes.

Surely that's their choice. They may stay in it a few weeks of the year, or use it for friends to stay in. Surely their money, their choice!

I'm not saying it's right but there is no law against it so let them get on with it.

ReallyTired Wed 02-Dec-15 23:23:51

I think the punishment for buy to leave should be the council taking over the property after two years. How can you justify properties in good condition being deliberately left empty when we have homeless people sleeping rough tonight in London?

I have no objection to holiday lets, I object to usable properties never being used. Tourists bring revenue and create jobs. Second homes that are used regularly are unfair, but I would not target them. I object to foreign investors who buy property and there is no prospect of it being used. They don't even get affected by the new stamp duty laws as they are usually companies rather than individuals.

I agree that bad landlords should be punished and there is already existing provision within the law. The problem is that lack of housing in London makes tenants afraid to complain about a criminal landlord. Freeing up empty properties would help to provide more affordable and decent housing. Buy to leave just exasabates the housing shortage in London.

HelenaDove Wed 02-Dec-15 23:27:30

Really Tired the existing laws arent good enough ......the process takes too long. An ill/elderly/ disabled tenant could quite easily develop hypothermia/pneumonia living without adequate heating while waiting for the wheels to turn.

Potatoface2 Wed 02-Dec-15 23:31:29

do you own a property?

janethegirl2 Wed 02-Dec-15 23:32:17

Many homeless people couldn't pay the rent, that's generally why they are homeless.
People with money will be in accommodation.

lorelei9 Wed 02-Dec-15 23:33:30

I thought you meant second homes domestically
I'm afraid I'd make up a tax on foreign buyers to reduce them buying property, regardless of whether they rent it out or leave it empty or use it two months a year
It's like another version of gold for them and pushes prices up for everyone else, whether to rent or buy
We've become a billionaires handy car park and only the billionaires benefit.

OhYeahMama Wed 02-Dec-15 23:34:10

Capitalism. It doesn't work, except for the few.

janethegirl2 Wed 02-Dec-15 23:35:08

potatoface who are you asking?

NadiaWadia Wed 02-Dec-15 23:35:33

You're absolutely right. I think it's normally foreign investors who do this. They are just waiting for the property to increase in value, rather than investing in gold or shares, for instance, and can't even be bothered to put tenants in. Many other Western European countries do not allow this (quite rightly).

lorelei9 Wed 02-Dec-15 23:36:52

Ps don't get me started on tenants rights
I was lucky in rented but i know loads of people who had shitty landlords and had to deal with all sorts.

Bakeoffcake Wed 02-Dec-15 23:39:05

I agree with you OP. It just pushes prices up as it reduces the number of homes available.

VioletEffingham Wed 02-Dec-15 23:43:10

So you buy a new build flat as a first time buyer and then your aged mother is taken ill and you move in to care for her, leaving your new flat unoccupied. Her illness drags on a bit and to add insult to injury not only are your property rights taken away from you, but you're incarcerated as well? Leaving your aged mother to her fate... ;-)

ReallyTired Wed 02-Dec-15 23:49:21

I agree that more needs to be done to force landlords to keep their property is a good state of repair. I own two rental properties and set aside a budget the equivalent of a month's rent each year. If there are no emergencies then I ask the tenant what would be nice. Some years I spend very little and other years I spend more than one month's rent. (Ie new boiler, Windows.)
I am blessed in that I have two sets of fabulous tenants.

Rather than going off topic. Shitty landlords in London get away with behaviour that tenants in other parts of the country would not have to tolerate. If I did not repair the hot water my tenants would leave swiftly and no one would rent the property. I feel that increasing the amount of available housing stock would give tenants choice and possibly bring down prices.

Homeless is a complex issue. Lack of social housing is a factor. The threat of housing an undesirable in a empty overseas property would act as a deterrent.

barefootzenhippy Wed 02-Dec-15 23:49:46

Yanbu at all. I agree with HelenaDove that there should be tougher punishments for slumlords but that should be in addition to not instead of a ban on buy to leave

HelenaDove Wed 02-Dec-15 23:52:43

Google these keywords.

"family left without heating hot water for months housing association"

You would be surprised at the amount of cases there are that are NOT private landlords.

ReallyTired Wed 02-Dec-15 23:54:14

Violet.. Two years is more than enough to sort out your empty property. Plenty of people are desperate for somewhere to live and they have gut wrenching sob stories of shitty landlords and unfair eviction.

I never said that any one should be incasterated. It would not be practical to in prison an overseas company. Taking away control of assets after a court case would be enough.

HelenaDove Wed 02-Dec-15 23:55:57

Really Tired you sound like a decent landlord.

TesticleOfObjectivity Thu 03-Dec-15 00:05:06

Yanbu op. I completely agree. There is a lot wrong with the housing situation in this country.

seasidesally Thu 03-Dec-15 00:08:50

why do they buy and never live in the property

HelenaDove Thu 03-Dec-15 00:10:04

Sally i dont get it either.

M1nniedriver Thu 03-Dec-15 00:14:55

What should be made a criminal offence is landlords leaving tenants without essentials like heating and hot water for weeks/months on end

I agree. It should also be criminal offence to refuse to pay rent due hmm

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