Phil Spencer is calling on the property industry to put pressure on the government to help the hundreds of thousands of homeowners affected by the cladding scandal.
The TV presenter and MoveIQ founder has published a video calling on the government to sort out the problems caused by the fallout from the Grenfell tragedy, which involves 3,000 tower blocks.
Leaseholders, including many who bought via the government’s Shared Ownership scheme, are trapped because their towers have failed a safety inspection, fall outside the government’s funding scheme and who, therefore, must pay to have the cladding replaced themselves.
Spencer takes the government to task on several other point including the glacial rate at which blocks are being inspected, the lack of qualified inspectors available and the shortfall between government funding and the total cost of remediation.
“The government’s funding only covers the 1,700 most at-risk building and not the 9,500 that potentially that have dangerous cladding,” says Spencer.
He is also urging agents to sign a petition calling on Ministers to address the problems caused by the External Wall Survey system or ESW1 forms.
These were introduced to help lenders and their surveyors assess whether a building’s cladding is safe or not.
But there are less than 300 people qualified to undertake them, and therefore leaseholders are having to wait for months and possibly years before they can get the ‘all clear’.
He also criticises mortgage lenders for their inconsistent approach to these forms which some insist on while others do not.
Overall, Spencer warns agents that unless these scandals are sorted out, it will significantly impact the housing market; some 6% of the UK’s housing stock is now unsellable because of these problems, or approximately three million properties.
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