Posted on 13th November 2018
The horrific tragedy of Grenfell Tower has brought to light many safety concerns for people living in flats or high-rise buildings. One of the buzz words associated with Grenfell Tower is ‘cladding’. In particular; “what the position is of Leaseholders who live in properties with unsafe cladding” is a question many Property Lawyers are asking. MG Legal, your solicitors Lancaster, have researched the matter and our findings are as follows:
On the 16th of May 2018 Theresa May pledged £400 million to replace unsafe cladding following the June disaster. However; in the September update to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Building Safety Programme, which monitors the number of buildings with ACM cladding and the progress of work to remove it, it was revealed that only two out of 205 private residential blocks containing combustible ACM cladding have had it completely removed since the Grenfell fire last June.
How can you help?
The British Red Cross launched an appeal to help raise money for Victims and Survivors or visit the Support4Grenfell Community Hub to find out details of various charities working to help those affected. Alternatively, if you would like to volunteer to help with the support effort being co-ordinated by Kensington and Chelsea Council please register your interest by emailing email@example.com
What is Cladding?
Cladding is a material used to insulate buildings and in part to improve the appearance of buildings. In the case of Grenfell, the cladding was metal or plastic panels to protect the building from weather and also to improve its appearance.
What are the issues?
Beside from the obvious safety concerns as things stand the sale of leasehold flats has become credibly more difficult. Despite Government pleas recent case law is seemingly allowing Freeholders to place the cost of moving cladding on the doorstep of Leaseholders. Most recently the Freeholders of the Fresh Building in Salford, Citiscape in Croydon and The Pemberstone Group which is responsible for Cypress Place and Vallea Court have received tribunal rulings in their favour which allows them to charge Leaseholders the cost of replacing the Cladding under the guise of “Service Charge Costs”.
Can you still remortgage?
If you are looking to remortgage your flat contact MG Legal, Conveyancing Solicitors in Preston, today. Ultimately; the option to remortgage will be established by your potential mortgage lender’s valuation. The Valuer will establish whether there is cladding present at the building. MG Legal, solicitors Garstang, solicitors in Preston and solicitors in Lancaster have found that the existence of unsafe cladding may mean that the Valuation of your property is lower than expected and this will ultimately affect whether you are likely to be able to remortgage of the property.
Can you still sell your property?
An experienced Conveyancer or Solicitor will be able to establish the existence of cladding in the enquiries stage. If the existence of cladding is a concern for you, instruct MG Legal – conveyancing solicitors Manchester – and we will be able to advise further. Ultimately though, if you’re buyer is purchasing using a mortgage lender the existence of cladding may affect the overall valuation which could lead to issues with the buyer’s ability to obtain a mortgage. If the Valuation is lower, then the mortgage offered is likely to be much lower. MG Legal, solicitors in Chorley, solicitors Garstang, solicitors in Lancaster, and solicitors in Longridge, are here to walk you through every step of the process.
Owners of property with dangerous cladding may well be experiencing negative equity. That is, they should consider whether their property is now worth less than what they bought it for. If you are selling the property and you have a mortgage over it then you may not be able to sell your property for enough money to pay off your mortgage. If your home were to be repossessed and your property is sold you could end up deeper in debt that you already are if the property sale does not cover your outstanding debt.
Buying a property with cladding:
If you are looking to instruct a local property solicitor ensure that they obtain the following information in respect of the Cladding: -
Risk Assessment of the property
Fire Risk Assessment – when was the last time it was updated?
If there is no Fire Risk Assessment seek confirmation from the Freeholder that there is a plan in place to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment
If you are told that you will acquire an interest in the Freehold or the Management Company when you buy a property, then there is a risk of enforcement action for as long as the assessment isn’t produced. Please contact us if this is something you are worried about and we can review your Lease in order to advise whether this is something you should be concerned about.
Consider what fire suppressor systems are installed at the property
Plastic cladding was present at Grenfell – have you considered what cladding is present at the property you are potentially purchasing?
For more information about how dangerous cladding could have an affect on you, how properties bought through Right to Buy Schemes and staircasing for properties with contact MG Legal, Conveyancing solicitors in Manchester via firstname.lastname@example.org or to discuss the matter with a Solicitor in Preston phone 01995 602 129.
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