Report recommends all leaseholders don’t foot the bill

The Levelling Up Committee’s Report highlights too many leaseholders will fall through the cracks of the UK Government’s ‘piecemeal measures’ to protect leaseholders from the costs of building safety remediation.

The report is in response to Michael Gove, Secretary of State of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announcement on 10 January where developers will be forced to fix the outstanding cladding issues and agree on a fully-funded plan. 

10 Jan 2022
UK Government forces developers to fix cladding crisis plus protects leaseholders

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Michael Gove MP, has today, 10 January, announced an overhaul to the Government’s approach to building safety.

Buy-to-let

The Committee, made up of cross-party MPs, disagrees with the UK Government that only buy-to-let landlords with one other property should be included in the statutory protection for leaseholders. There are other options to exclude wealthy property tycoons without making landlords of more modest means liable. The Committee calls on the UK Government to publish an impact assessment before undertaking any action.

The report features a series of recommendations, including calls to:

  • Scrap the proposed cap on non-cladding costs for leaseholders
  • Implement a Comprehensive Building Safety Fund to cover the costs of remediating all building safety defects on any buildings of any height where the original “polluter” cannot be traced
  • Compensate leaseholders for costs already paid out, including for interim measures and for rises in insurance premiums
  • Require all relevant parties who played a role in the building safety crisis to contribute to funds for remediation
  • Ensure the Affordable Homes Programme is protected at its current level and that social housing tenants do not pay the price through costs or diversion of funds away from maintaining their homes or other vital services 

Propertymark lobbying

Propertymark has, from the outset, argued there is no logical basis to exclude buy-to-let landlords from the same level of financial support as owner-occupiers. We wrote to Gove at the end of January seeking urgent clarification on these points and it is positive that the committee shares our views that all landlords should be covered. The same acknowledgement from the UK Government is now needed too.

31 Jan 2022
Propertymark presses for clarity on cladding funding

In a letter to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Propertymark is seeking urgent clarification that financial support to fix dangerous cladding will be made equally available to all affected leaseholders, including buy-to-let landlords.

It is not the case that all landlords have significant financial means. Our member letting agents who work closely with landlords are clear in their message to us their concerns about the huge financial hardship they face. Additionally, only 16 per cent of Propertymark members surveyed believe the UK Government’s plan to fund cladding remediation costs goes far enough with under a third stating 21 per cent or more of the properties in their portfolio are leasehold.

Propertymark is continuing to engage with Parliamentarians on the matter.

The Secretary of State has repeatedly said that those who are not responsible for this crisis should not have to pay, so we urge him act on that principle and take away the uncertainly by accepting the recommendations in the committee’s report without delay.
Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark