Good News On Cladding Crisis: Owners in ‘Medium’ Sized Towers Won’t Pay ACM Costs

There is finally some good news when it comes to the cladding crisis!

Owners of medium-sized dwellings had been living with the stress of possibly having to cover the cost of disposing and removing unsafe cladding on their homes, which has caused them to be unable to sell or remortgage their properties. But they will be relieved to know that they are soon to be released from this worry!  

On January 10th, Housing Secretary Michael Gove confirmed that the U-turn has begun:

  • having written to those responsible for the cladding crisis, Gove has stated that they are being “put on notice”. 
  • He has also pledged that leaseholders living in smaller developments will no longer have to pay to fix these issues. 

The proposal comes more than four years after the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. Since then, the cladding crisis has trapped leaseholders into these unsafe and unsellable homes. 

But what is a ‘medium-sized’ tower? 

Property owners of towers that are over 11 metres tall, but under 18 metres are considered to be ‘medium’ sized. For further clarification, the term ‘non-ACM cladding’ refers to any unsafe cladding system that is not Aluminium Composite Material cladding. 

Mr Gove also noted that he will take every step necessary to ensure the building industry pays to fix this disastrous and dangerous cladding issue, adding that: 

We will take action to end this scandal and protect leaseholders. We will make industry pay to fix all the remaining problems and help to cover the range of costs facing leaseholders.

Those who manufactured combustible cladding and insulation – many of whom have made vast profits, even at the height of the pandemic – they must pay now instead of leaseholders.

When will remediation for cladding take effect?

Here is what we know so far about the action that is to take place:

  • Mr Gove has said the agreement on a plan of action will be completed by the end of March, and is expecting developers to complete the works ‘at pace’.
  • Government funding is already in place for taller towers over 18 metres. 
  • Cladding campaigner Steve Day told the BBC that he is ‘sceptical’ a voluntary scheme will be signed off by builders’ shareholders. However, if they do dodge paying into the fund, Mr Gove will tell MPs that ‘legal compulsion’ will follow.

As a landlord, your tenant’s safety is of the utmost importance and if your property is caught up in the cladding crisis, take some time to do your research on fire safety and what fire safety equipment you can offer. This may make you and your tenant feel safer, while the issue is being resolved.

In the meantime, developers are being asked to :

  1. Make financial contributions to a dedicated fund that will cover the full outstanding cost to remove all unsafe cladding on 11-18 metres buildings. That dedicated fund is currently estimated to be a whopping £4 billion.
  2. Expected to remediate all buildings over 11 metres that they’ve played a role in developing. 
  3. Take part in providing comprehensive information on all buildings over 11 metres that have had historical safety defects to prevent any more hazards in the future.
  4. And are also expected to report on what part they have played in the last 30 years of those hazardous constructions. 

After a financially stressful time during the pandemic, we hope this will be just one more step towards the safety of many residents who have endured this issue for so long. 

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