Ed Miliband promises crackdown on ‘ghost homes’ hoarded by investors

Ed Miliband promises crackdown on ‘ghost homes’ hoarded by investors

Labour leader vows to stop empty properties being bought by overseas investors and left empty.

Ed Miliband has promised to impose council tax premiums on “ghost homes” hoarded by wealthy investors and other absentee owners across England.

The Labour leader said he would also close loopholes that allow absentee owners to avoid the council tax premium on empty homes by putting in a few items of furniture. He said developers would also be required to sell flats in domestic markets at the same time as offering them to foreigners.

The promises are part of Labour’s push to woo voters who feel squeezed out of the housing market. Last week Miliband proposed to help “generation rent” by introducing greater long-term stability in private-sector rents.

Launching Labour’s London local elections campaign, Miliband said: “We’ve got to stop this phenomenon of empty properties being bought by overseas investors and nothing done about it. We live in one of the richest, most diverse and exciting cities that has ever existed on the planet, but the connection between the great wealth London creates and everyday family finances has been broken.”

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