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Grenfell cladding debacle has left 600,000 owners struggling to sell homes

Claim is made by Labour Party which says bungling over cladding is forcing surveyors and lenders to under-value some properties within towers over 18m tall.

Nigel Lewis

The horrors of the Grenfell Tower disaster last year have not concerned the estate agency sector directly.

But over the weekend the Labour Party released research that claims a huge number of leasehold apartment owners are now unable to sell their homes because of the uncertainty around cladding safety.

Its research claims that many of the 600,000 people living in apartment blocks over 18 metres tall are now facing difficulties selling their homes.

According to Inside Housing, this is because surveyors and mortgage lenders are valuing properties significantly below their usual market price within towers that have not had their cladding safety confirmed.

This follows recent government guidance that stipulates the minimum safety requirement of cladding for apartment blocks, known as Advice Note 14.

“More than two years on from Grenfell, concerned residents in blocks around the country are still stuck in limbo, unsure whether or not their home is safe and unable to sell,” says shadow housing secretary John Healey.

“The government must now act to test suspect cladding, publish the results and force private block owners to remove and replace all cladding found to be unsafe.”

The Labour party claims this inaction has drawn thousands of homeowners into the Grenfell Tower prompted scandal and that government ministers remain unsure how many blocks are covered in suspect cladding.

“The Conservatives simply do not care about keeping people safe in their homes and are now sitting idly by while the entire market for high-rise flats grinds to a standstill,” says shadow housing minister Sarah Jones.

 

November 4, 2019

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