Section: Leaseholders' Rights

Intervention from government and lenders to support leaseholders

Posted 21.07.21
GOV.UK: Further reading

Leaseholders in blocks of flats with cladding should be supported to buy, sell or re-mortgage their homes after the government agreed with major lenders to pave the way to ending the need for EWS1 forms. It comes following expert advice that the forms should no longer be needed on buildings below 18 metres.

The announcement by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick follows new advice from fire safety experts that the government commissioned earlier in the year to investigate risk in medium and lower-rise buildings, which makes clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in these blocks of flats.

The report recommends that residents are reassured as to safety, and a more proportionate approach is urgently instituted, requiring action by all market participants.

A group of major high street lenders has committed to review their practices following the new advice; HSBC UK, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and others have said that the expert report and government statement paves the way for EWS1 forms to no longer be required for buildings below 18 metres and will help further unlock the housing market.

The government welcomes their support but is now calling on others to demonstrate leadership by working rapidly to update guidance and policies in line with the expert advice.

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Loophole in Bill could see many high rise properties ineligible for compensation

Posted 15.07.21
Batchelors Solicitors: Further reading

An article published by Batchelors Solicitors suggests that a loophole in the newly published Building Safety Bill could mean that the residents of hundreds of high rise properties will be unable to take legal action against errant developers.

Leaseholders are to be granted an extension to the time they have to bring a claim against developers for inadequate building safety - which is set to increase from 6 to 15 years.

However, if the draft Bill is passed without amendment, the legislation would result in hundreds of buildings failing to qualify - as they were built more than 15 years ago and would therefore fall outside the statute of limitation.

The 15 year deadline would begin from the time the legislation is introduced, so if the Building Safety Bill passes on to the statute books in 2025 - buildings built before 2010 would not qualify.

According to the UK Cladding Action Group's own research, 236 residential buildings fall outside the new parameters.

Despite Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick claiming that the new legislation will "put new cards in the hands of leaseholders" - this article suggests the Bill, as it stands, would result in many footing the entire bill for fire safety remediation costs.

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Reporting on July 2021

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