Report Recommends All Leaseholders Don’t Foot The Bill

31 March 2022

Propertymark Hits Back At Exclude Buy-to-Let Landlords Decision

The Levelling Up Committee’s Report highlights too many leaseholders will fall through the cracks of the UK Government’s ‘piecemeal measures’ to protect leaseholders from the costs of building safety remediation.

The report is in response to Michael Gove, Secretary of State of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announcement on 10 January where developers will be forced to fix the outstanding cladding issues and agree on a fully-funded plan.

Buy-to-let

The Committee, made up of cross-party MPs, disagrees with the UK Government that only buy-to-let landlords with one other property should be included in the statutory protection for leaseholders. There are other options to exclude wealthy property tycoons without making landlords of more modest means liable. The Committee calls on the UK Government to publish an impact assessment before undertaking any action.

The report features a series of recommendations, including calls to:

  • Scrap the proposed cap on non-cladding costs for leaseholders
  • Implement a Comprehensive Building Safety Fund to cover the costs of remediating all building safety defects on any buildings of any height where the original “polluter” cannot be traced
  • Compensate leaseholders for costs already paid out, including for interim measures and for rises in insurance premiums
  • Require all relevant parties who played a role in the building safety crisis to contribute to funds for remediation
  • Ensure the Affordable Homes Programme is protected at its current level and that social housing tenants do not pay the price through costs or diversion of funds away from maintaining their homes or other vital services

Propertymark lobbying

Propertymark (the professional body for the property sector) has argued there is no logical basis to exclude buy-to-let landlords from the same level of financial support as owner-occupiers. Writing to Gove at the end of January seeking urgent clarification on these points and it is positive that the committee shares our views that all landlords should be covered. The same acknowledgement from the UK Government is now needed too.