Tenants “trapped” in apartments due to the siding crisis may soon be able to sell or remortgage their properties after government intervention announced today.

Robert Jenrick said a government-commissioned expert review found there was “no evidence of systemic fire risk in apartment buildings,” citing evidence suggesting that only 9% of fires have occurred in apartment buildings of four or more storeys.

He said in a speech to MPs that the review resulted in five recommendations to end what he called the “disproportionate response” of lenders to the coatings crisis.

A key recommendation is that an EWS1 form, which assesses the safety of the exterior cladding, should not be a requirement for buildings shorter than 18 meters.

Major lenders such as HSBC UK and Barclays have said they support this position and will revise their practices on the process following the expert panel’s recommendation.

Previously, lenders would ask for the security form and many properties failed over siding concerns, leaving tenants trapped and forced into costly security measures such as “wake-ups”.

The government said it hoped the intervention would reduce “unnecessary and costly remediation work in low-rise buildings” and restore market confidence in allowing apartment owners to buy, sell or remortgage properties. houses.

Regarding the rationale behind the proposals, Jenrick said there had been “tailor-made risk aversion” in the housing market in recent years due to concerns about the costs of siding replacement.

In his statement, Mr Jenrick detailed broader reforms and said: “I expect these actions will significantly alleviate the challenges faced by the vast majority of tenants looking to buy or sell apartments in apartment buildings. high rise and ensure tenants are not faced with huge bills for unnecessary remediation work.

The update came as the House of Commons considered the Building Safety Bill, which gives a new building safety regulator the power to prosecute developers who break the rules and take their properties off the market. .

The legislation is part of plans to tighten regulations for high-rise buildings and prevent yet another tragedy like the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people in 2017.

Shadow Housing Secretary Lucy Powell accused Mr Jenrick of treating the Commons with ‘contempt’ by releasing details of the new announcements during his speech, as MPs spent weeks preparing for second reading debate Bill.

She said: “We support the majority of what is in the bill, which finally strengthens the regulation of high-rise buildings – although it could go further.

“However, we have serious concerns about what is not in the bill. It is abandoning tenants already trapped in the building safety crisis, and we will seek every means to deliver cast iron legal guarantees that have been long promised. “

A statement released by End Our Cladding Scandal said it “cautiously welcomes today’s government’s shocking announcement on EWS1 and the need to inject much-needed common sense into the management of the building security for low and mid-rise apartment buildings “.

But added that “we have been here before” and that in November “MHCLG triumphantly announced that blocks without” coating “would not require EWS1” certification.

However, the statement added “it only took a few hours for the news to be brought down by UK Finance, which represents mortgage lenders, and the Building Societies Association, both of which said they had not given their money. agreement”.

They added: “After spending years dealing with how this government is trying to make us forget, we fear this is just another rescue exercise to try to stop more and more Conservative MPs from taking over. moves against their so-called homeownership party to let tenants foot the bill for the collective state and industry failure.

Additional reports by the PA

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Source: www.independent.co.uk
This notice was published: 2021-07-22 00:37:09

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