Since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, concerns around cladding have become a national issue. As the Grenfell inquiry resumes, the nightmare continues for owners stuck in potentially unsafe homes they are unable to sell. The exact number affected by this cladding crisis is unknown, but an article in Inside Housing suggests it will impact as many as 600,000 flat owners.
The new regulations around combustible materials has seen home reports place a zero value on some properties. This means thousands of leaseholders living in affected properties are currently “mortgage prisoners” unable to sell their homes or obtain mortgages.
So far, the Government has only confirmed that it will pay for the removal of ACM cladding. The type fitted to Grenfell Tower. The government has committed £600m in total for remediating buildings with unsafe ACM cladding in social and private sectors. However there are many other cladding materials also failing to meet the new safety regulations. Unfortunately due to the high costs involved, cladding is proving to be the subject no-one wants to take responsibility for.
The cladding crisis is slowly suffocating those affected, namely flat owners in blocks covered in cladding who want to sell. The issue is that the owners are unable to sell the properties until the buildings are proved to be safe. This leaves them stuck in their homes and also seeing monthly bills rise as costs are added to maintenance payment, residents in Manchester have stated that their monthly payments had gone from £90 to £480, with others saying that an additional £1000 a month has been suggested to cover payments. This added to the fact that they are unable to re-mortgage is causing a lot of stress to the owners.
Fears have been raised that the cladding crisis preventing thousands of leaseholders from selling their flats could grow. This comes after it emerged that some banks are now refusing to give mortgages on buildings over 18 metres.
The BBC contacted various banks to see where they stood on lending money to those properties affected. Halifax is not currently offering new mortgages on high-rise blocks that have not been assessed by a qualified professional in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, UK Finance and Building Societies Association.
Nationwide said its “concerns relate to how a building has been built rather than the size, and giving a mortgage depends on what fire or safety issues have been found by a surveyor”. The building society said it would “require sight of documentation from a suitably qualified person that confirms a building is safe and secure.”
Here at Avery & Co we understand the heartbreak and frustration homeowners are now facing due to the cladding crisis. If you are looking to purchase a new home that you think may be at risk, ensure you have a survey conducted to deem if the property is safe and financially worthwhile. We only use RICS qualified surveyors who can asses any risk and inform you of the dangers before buying. We can also help people that believe they could be affected before they try to sell or re-mortgage.
Sometimes the purchase of your home may fall through. If you have previously booked a HomeBuyer Report with us, we will offer you up to 10% loyalty discount* off your next survey. Just Quote "PROMO10" and we will be happy to help.PROMO10