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Housebuilding firms have until March to fix cladding situation: Gove

Housebuilding firms have until March to fix cladding situation: Gove
Written by Publishing Team

As reported earlier today is likely to happen, Housing Secretary Michael Gove has warned homebuilders that the government is ready to take action on removing hazardous cladding.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Gove said: “No tenant who lives in a building over 11m tall will incur any costs to repair hazardous cladding.

“They are blameless and it is morally wrong to ask them to pay the price.”

He added that companies responsible for manufacturing the dangerous cladding and insulation “must now pay instead of renters”.

Goff said companies that refuse to comply will do so using the law.

In addition, the government intends to amend the Building Safety Law to “extend the legal right of building owners and tenants retroactively to claim compensation from the building developer for safety defects of up to 30 years. The bill currently covers defects of up to 15 years.”

Responding to the news, Intermediate Mortgage Lenders Association CEO Kate Davies said: “Mr Gove’s mention of ‘commercial consequences’ and the statement that tenants will be able to sue builders for up to 30 years provide poignant headlines but few specifics. .

“The issue of enforcement is one that will loom over the sector, as suing the builders will require time, money and courage from already worn-out tenants, and if taken up by the government, it gives little comfort to the tenants in the meantime.”

The statement that the government will seek a “legal solution” for slow developers is a promising statement, but it also points to further delays and a timetable that does not reassure tenants here and now. We also welcome the withdrawal of the standardized advice note, but, again, we have questions about how long it will take BSI to prepare the new promised proportional guidance.”

Even when the government provides a time frame, this ambiguity persists. The developers were given two months to come up with a plan to solve the mounting cladding costs crisis, but without a sense of the time needed for the Apex government task force to identify and contact the recalcitrant developers, the tenants were given no more promise than to ‘trust’ us and wait. “

“Today’s news also avoids discussing other non-cladding issues and construction flaws that were revealed during a cladding review across the UK.”

Irwin Mitchell, National Head of Residential Property, Jeremy Ragg, cautions that while “the sentiment and ambition of Mr. Goff’s statement today have been commendable and long overdue … the facts of his proposals, however, remain questionable in their efficacy and breadth.”

Raj continues: “The reality is that the 5th anniversary of safety building which has reached the current level of crisis for tenants in high-rise blocks of apartments in particular is fast approaching.

“To admit today that the reaction has so far been slow and ineffective would be a cool relief, especially for those with no-coating issues. The government should really accept when its performance is not acceptable and ensure rapid improvement.

“The cladding at Grenfell has nothing to do with current or historical developers of new homes, as they were installed retroactively many years after the original construction, using materials that were clearly dangerous that the regulatory authorities seem to have ignored or brandished.

“The idea that responsibility for resolving the cladding scandal — which has now expanded into a public building safety scandal — should be placed only at the doors of developers who have been voluntarily asked for more money is likely to only lead to further delay and grief for the tenants trapped in the property. dangerous or not for sale.”

Raj adds: “Many developers will be puzzled as to how and to what extent they can justify such expenditures on a ‘voluntary’ basis in the context of their obligations to shareholders, and the lack of direct responsibility, particularly given the clear evidence of shared negligence by others.

“No one wants tenants trapped in a post-Grenfell nightmare to continue to suffer, and it is only right that they be relieved of the financial responsibility to make their buildings safe.

“However, significant building safety issues remain in addition to cladding issues and it does not appear that many of our customers have been helped by today’s announcement to resolve issues with homes they have purchased in good faith, expecting to be safe to live in and easy to sell.”

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