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500,000 apartment block owners will be able sell their homes… soon

Ministers have revealed an industry initiative to help leaseholders and mortgage lenders access information on building safety and help thousands of people stuck in homes they have been unable to sell since Grenfell.

Nigel Lewis


The government has introduced measures that will release thousands of high rise apartments whose owners have been trapped since the Grenfell tragedy.

These measures are part of a root and branch reform of building safety announced by the Ministry of Housing that otherwise would have made national headlines if the Coronavirus pandemic wasn’t in full swing.

The plans, published in response to a consultation on building safety following the Grenfell tragedy, include a wide range of measures that will bring about the ‘biggest change in building safety for a generation’.

These measure include action on mortgages for properties in high-rise residential buildings.

Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, problems getting mortgages for apartments within high rise buildings over 18 metres high had become a huge problem for thousands of vendors, who were effectively trapped in the blocks because no one would buy their flats.

To overcome this, a property industry group has been set up to design a data-sharing portal so that lenders and leaseholders can access the information needed to proceed with sales and re-mortgaging for buildings 18 metres and over, building on the introduction of a new process to support valuation through an ‘EWS1’ form.

mark hayward naea apartmentsMark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark (left) says: “Public safety is paramount, and we’re pleased the Government is introducing changes to ensure residents are kept safe.

“The introduction of a website will allow lenders and leaseholders to access information in a timely manner, enable transactions to go through quicker, and help those who have been left unable to sell or remortgage their property to do so.

“Ultimately, these changes will help the housing market get back on its feet once we’ve moved through this period of uncertainty.”

Read the full report.


April 3, 2020

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