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Associations & Bodies

Property industry calls on Chancellor to release 500,000 home owners trapped by cladding scandal

Consumer, property management, campaigning and freeholder groups all urge Rishi Sunak to release funds to help home owners trapped in unviable ACM-clad buildings.

Nigel Lewis

Twenty-two consumer and industry groups and companies with involvement in the ongoing cladding scandal have joined forces in an unprecedented show of solidarity in order to campaign together.

Property managers, residents, freeholders and cladding campaigners have signed a joint letter to new Chancellor Rishi Sunak to press for the government to provide the billons of pounds needed to fix the cladding crisis in the UK following the Grenfell Towers fire tragedy.

The country’s ongoing cladding scandal has consequences for estate agents too.

An increasing number of home owners are now stuck in buildings that feature dangerous cladding; many lenders will not approve mortgages for apartments within them and potential purchasers are wary of the costs they could face to replace cladding.

Those signing the letter include trade bodies such as the Association of Residential Managing Agents, the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership and The British Property Federation.

Others include property management giants SDL Property Management, Trinity Estates and FirstPort as well as freeholders such as the Wallace Partnership Group and Simarc.

“The Grenfell tragedy has uncovered one of the biggest safety crises in recent British history,” the letter says.

“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?”.

Nigel Glen, Chief Executive Officer, The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) says:

“The Grenfell tragedy highlighted the dangers of ACM cladding, but it has also revealed a much wider building safety crisis which could affect over half a million people. These buildings are being fixed by building owners and managing agents as quickly as possible but, without Government support, the process could take decades and leave leaseholders with life-changing bills on top of the anxiety that has already been caused.”

 

February 25, 2020

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