Thirty five of the UK’s leading housebuilders have agreed to pay for the remediation of cladding on any building over 11 metres tall that they have developed over the past 30 years.

The package, brokered by Michael Gove, will initially be worth some £2 billion with an extension to the Building Safety Levy due to raise a further £3 billion.

This new agreement will be legally enforceable rather than being a ‘promise’, and builders who fail to sign up to the scheme will ‘face consequences’ says Gove.

For a list of the housebuilders involved so far, click here.

Also, Gove’s department is to introduce new powers that will enable enforcement on any companies who fail to sign up, as well as those that breach the agreement they have signed up to.

These new powers would allow the Secretary of State to block those who refuse to make and deliver on their commitments from building and selling new homes. 

As set out in January, a new government scheme will also see industry pay to fix buildings where those responsible cannot be identified or forced to in law.

Loans scrapped

This follows previous confirmation that plans for a 30-year loan scheme paid for by leaseholders would be scrapped. 
The new scheme will be funded through an extension to the Building Safety Levy that will be chargeable on all new residential buildings in England and raise £3 billion.

“Today marks a significant step towards protecting innocent leaseholders and ensuring those responsible pay to solve the crisis they helped to cause,” says Gove (pictured).

“I welcome the move by many of the largest developers to do the right thing.

“But this is just the beginning. We will do whatever it takes to hold industry to account, and under our new measures there will be nowhere to hide.”

But the proposals have not been without disappointment for landlords. After initially saying ‘qualifying leaseholders’ would not include landlords, the government recently relented and, after lobbying from the NRLA, included ‘accidental’ landlords with no more than three properties in total – i.e. excluding ‘professional’ landlords with multiple property portfolios.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe you can clarify something Nigel. As a “portfolio landlord” with a 15 yr old property built by a national developer who has signed up to the scheme…..am I likely to have to pay towards any EWS required repair work? Many thanks

  2. Yet again the Govt witters on.

    Cladding is NOT the only issue.

    Construction defects in general need to be addressed.
    Just remediating cladding without fixing the other underlying construction defects DOESN’T restore flat values.

    It is IRRELEVANT what the status of a leaseholder is.

    It is IRRELEVANT if a LL or one owns all the flats in a block.

    The sole qualifying criteria for Govt assistance should be that they are LEASEHOLDERS.

    NO leaseholder should have to make ANY contribution WHATSOEVER towards fixing construction defects.

    All additional costs so far incurred by leaseholders such as fire watching etc should be refunded.

    It should be made plain that if any flat owner discovers construction defects that they will NEVER be liable for fixing them.

    Tje Govt remediation strategy does NOT restore flat values.

    As a consequence I would NEVER buy a flat again.

    I’ve just managed to offload 4.

    Never again would I risk buying a flat.

    These problems will have massive effects on flat valuations.

    It would make far more sense for all these dud flats to be bought up at proper market prices by councils to be used as Social Housing.

    Let the Social Housing bodies take on the risks of dud flats.

    They can effectively take out 100 year mortgages while bringing to market 3.5 million flats for Social Housing.

    Very few private flat owners will wish to own once Social Housing providers buy up all the dud flats.

    The vast majority of dud flat owners would be only too glad to sell up at market prices to Councils etc.

    Such flats WILL suffer sales blight for the rest of their lives.

    Far better to incorporate into the Social Housing sector.

  3. For sure, irrespective of the ownership of the leasehold, the owner buying in good faith should not be penalised. However, I think it is unreasonable for the builders to take all the blame. In fact, I don’t think it’s the builder’s fault in cases where their builds have been signed off by building regs and where they have used materials certified as fit for purpose. Builders were criticised for not using more expensive higher rated materials, but why should they? You only need to meet the standards as specified, and it generally makes sound business sense to do that in the cheapest way possible. If the buildings are then unsafe, responsibility is with those specifying the standards and/or those wrongly certifying the materials as up to the standard specified. Harsh on the builders, I tend to think.

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