The government is persisting with its argument that “building owners” must pay up to remove Grenfell cladding from their sites – even though the law has said that they don’t pay, leaseholders do.
The statement today from Communities Secretary James Brokenshire says:
“Local authorities will get the government’s full backing, including financial support if necessary, to enable them to carry out emergency work on affected private residential buildings with unsafe ACM cladding.
“They will recover the costs from building owners. This will allow buildings to be made permanently safe without delay.
“The government is already fully funding the replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on social sector buildings above 18 metres.
“Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:
“Everyone has a right to feel safe in their homes and I have repeatedly made clear that building owners and developers must replace dangerous ACM cladding. And the costs must not be passed on to leaseholders.
“My message is clear – private building owners must pay for this work now or they should expect to pay more later.”
Government bans combustible materials on high-rise homes
Combustible materials ban follows announcement in the summer Local authorities to carry out emergency remediation work on private residential buildings above 18 metres which still contain ACM cladding Costs to be recovered from building owners The government is banning combustible materials on new high-rise homes and giving support to local authorities to carry out emergency work to remove and replace unsafe aluminium composite material ( ACM) cladding.
Councils cleared to rip Grenfell-style cladding from private buildings
Housing secretary gives authorities power to remove panels and bill landlords
It is uncertain how this works.
So far, developers have paid to remove cladding: Barratt at Citiscape; Bellway at New Festival Quarter; Taylor Wimpey at Glasgow Harbour.
The warranty provider NHBC is paying up at New Capital Quay, built by Galliard, although it may be the developer is stumping up for some of this.
But it is difficult to see how a company such as Pemberstone Reversions (5) Limited finds several million pounds to remove cladding at Cypress Place and Vallea Court.
That leaves aside the property tribunal has ruled that it does not need to do so in the first place:
£3m Grenfell cladding bills fall on residents at Lendlease’s Cypress Place and Vallea Court
Australian giant Lendlease built the sites, and could sub the freeholders.
But what of Heysmoor Heights, in Liverpool, where the builder long went bust, and the freehold is owned by anonymous beneficiaries of Abacus Land 4 Limited in Guernsey, which is part of the Long Harbour fund?
If freeholders have a whip round and get the government out of this mess, what will they expect in return?
Why should Will Astor, Tchenguiz etc be paying to remove Grenfell cladding?
The government announcement is excellent news for the leaseholders in Nova House in Slough, where the council in an unexplained arrangement acquired the freehold for £1 – a freehold for which freeholder Robert Steinhouse had earlier paid £455,000.
Somehow or other, one suspects the leaseholders at Nova House – apparently many Singaporean and Hong Kong investors among them – will get their cladding removal paid for by taxpayers. They were in tribunal yesterday disputing the costs to pay for fire marshalls.
But that owes more to the astonishing stupidity of Slough Council, rather than Mr Brokenshire’s repeated exhortations that “building owners” pay up.
Government thinking freeholders are paternalistic long-term custodians of a building is where it has gone wrong over Grenfell cladding
How many times have us leaseholders heard government persisting with its argument that “Building Owners” yes Building Owners MUST PAY to remove the similar Grenfell Cladding from their sites – even though the law has said that they don’t pay, leaseholders do.
What does this do to the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) and the Judges and Chairman who have already decided that the law is on the Freeholders side and committed them selves (Night of the long knives) to show solidarity to the masters.
The FTT has shown its hand, how will it recover or should it be replaced by a fairer system that takes into account the leaseholders. Companies such as McCarthy & Stone in the 1980s, who used Peverel Retirement now Firstport Retirement who have decided to transferred Operating Costs to Service Charges without informing us.
Latest scam is to charge for another Telephone Line, along with another cost for the Broadband. This allows the Development Manager to have access to a computer in the Development Managers Flat. Firstport have obviously not heard of Mobile Phones that can do the same thing.
Our telephone costs have risen from £51 per month – line rental charges,(£612 a year) without a call been made. On the Trial Balance/Audit Trail we paid £1,121.16 this year. We have been without a Residential House Manager (RHM) in 2013 who was sacked for Gross Misconduct.
Since July 2018 we do not have a Development Manager (DM) at all, but we do have a new line and broadband connection now, but we do not have a DM. It has cost us £509.16 (£42.43 a month) for this new line and broadband connection, and calls by the DM for what is supposed be business calls. No reimbursement have been forthcoming for private calls, having informed our Area Manager early in the year – todate he has not checked or refunded a penny.
On one hand Mr B. Says he can’t interfere with existing leases because they are contracts. Well done for spotting that.
On other hand, Mr B now rewriting leases and leasehold tenure to boot.
Freeholders are not owners ( hold an immediate interest in) of buildings. Leastways not by virtue of buying said buildings. Freeholders buy a reversionary interest in the buildings, meaning what “reversionary” rights means – when leases expire.
Meanwhile leases usually pass all costs incurred by landlord to lessees – taxes, repairs, unforeseen liabilities etc.
If Mr B has the legal power to block this liability for enforcement of cladding remedies, we have no leasehold crisis. Hurrah. Mr B can just block all the other exploitative terms of leases.
Nice to feel the present SoS understands leasehold tenure, mind. No moral arguments needed now?
Mr B. Said he can’t interfere with existing leases, then says he will challenge existing leases and leasehold tenure?
Not all Freeholds have sold on the developments be it Flat or House or Large Blocks with Commercial Interests.
The reasonable passing on all costs incurred by landlord to lessees has always been acceptable. The unreasonable costs for taxes, repairs, unforeseen liabilities etc is not acceptable.
If the liability for enforcement of cladding remedies, we have no leasehold crisis is not correct. We still have the 25 years of leasehold by Firstport/Peverel Managing Agent and McCarthy & Stone who between them were outed in circa 1992/3 as being unfair to residents as they were Managing Agents able to charge what they could get away with as business does.
I don’t understand (Nice to feel the present SoS understands leasehold tenure, mind. No moral arguments needed now?)
Maybe the heading should be ‘ Brokenshire plays Father Christmas’.
Think he knows his turkey won’t fly but words cost him nothing.