Many prominent voices within the industry have joined as one to urge the government to assist with the remedial works required to the unsafe buildings up and down the country. Since the Grenfell disaster, widespread fire-safety failings have been discovered within many high-rise blocks of apartments, often with the leaseholders being left liable to foot the costs to ensure their building is safe.
If the works cannot be carried out under warranty or by the developer, then it falls to flat owners to pay. Understandably, many leaseholders simply cannot afford to pay the costs associated with the required remedial works and the questions are being asked; Why was the building signed off in the first place? Why were the materials used ever certified? Shouldn’t the responsibility lie with the developer when the building has simply been built wrong?
Consequently, the government is being urged to lend a hand and step in as a funder of last resort, to help make homes safe for people without the capability to do it themselves.
The open letter to the Chancellor is below:
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Rd
London SW1A 2HQ
23 February 2020
Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,
We the undersigned represent homeowners, property managers and building owners across the United Kingdom.
The Grenfell tragedy has uncovered one of the biggest safety crises in recent British history. Two and a half years on, people are still living in apartment buildings with dangerous cladding. Building safety policy, dating back decades and overseen by governments of all political colours, has failed in its totality.
Building owners and property managers are stepping in to fix these buildings and ensure the safety of residents. But, where the costs are not recoverable from the original developer, or through an insurance claim, the burden is falling on those who live in these buildings. Why should homeowners pay the price for such a systemic failure?
The Government deserves credit for funding Grenfell-style ACM cladding remediation, but the problem is much wider than this and that funding doesn’t go far enough. The list of unsafe materials and hidden safety defects that were never identified when these buildings were signed off, is growing by the day.
This new government now has a golden opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and rescue the hundreds of thousands of worried and vulnerable residents across the country.
On behalf of homeowners, building owners, and property managers, we are urgently calling the Government to establish a multibillion-pound emergency fund and work with industry to unblock the process and ensure the safety of residents up and down the country for generations to come.
Fexco Property Services
FirstPort Property Management Services
Rendall and Rittner
Residential Management Group
Scanlans Property Management
SDL Property Management
Resident groups and professional/trade bodies
Association of Residential Managing Agents
British Property Federation (BPF)
Federation of Private Residents Association (FoPRA)
Institute of Residential Property Management
Leasehold Knowledge Partnership
UK Cladding Action Group (UKCAG)
Freeholders and building owners
Consensus Business Group
Estates & Management
Simarc Property Management
Wallace Partnership Group