In recent months, mortgage lenders and valuers have begun asking people who apply for mortgages on properties in purpose-built blocks to provide independent certification that the property meets the requirements of Advice Note 14. Unfortunately, in the short-term at least, building owners can’t provide this certification.
The subsequent remedial works that might be required to provide Advice Note 14 will, unfortunately, take time because of the limited contractors available to carry out the specialist remedial work.
This does not mean that affected buildings are unsafe. It is not a legal requirement for a building to meet the conditions of Advice Note 14. However, lenders may still take the view that if independent certification cannot be provided to demonstrate compliance, they won’t offer a mortgage.Unfortunately, this means that in many cases it may not be possible for affected leaseholders to remortgage, staircase or sell their homes. This is a nationwide issue which is now affecting thousands of leaseholders. We know this includes One Housing leaseholders, and we’re sorry for any upset and frustration that this is causing.
We want to do everything we can to support leaseholders whose mortgage application or sales process has been disrupted as a result of the approach that lenders are taking. Along with our colleagues at the G15, a group of the largest housing associations in London, we are calling on the new Government to step in. We are asking them to offer clear guidance for building owners and mortgage lenders on the proportionate implementation of their building safety advice notes.
We would like to reassure our residents that all One Housing’s homes have:
We hope that we will get the clarification that we need from the new government in the coming months. Our hope is that this will reassure residents, allow mortgage lenders to relax their stance, and give building owners a reasonable timeframe in which to resolve any outstanding issues. If you have questions regarding the safety of your building, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are concerned that your ability to remortgage, staircase or sell your home might be affected by these changes, please seek advice directly from your lender or mortgage provider.
The Government announced in the Budget on Wednesday 11 March a £1bn building safety fund for the removal and replacement of all unsafe combustible non-ACM cladding.
Funding will be available to remediate buildings in both the social and private residential sectors of 18 metres in height, and over. This is welcome news from the Government. We are still waiting on further clarity as to what it means for us. We also need further detail on how the fund will work, who is prioritised, who can claim and the conditions attached to any funding we could receive. The Government, however, has been clear that as a condition of any possible award of funding, we as building owners must pursue warranty claims and appropriate action against those responsible for putting unsafe cladding on these buildings. Where remediation work has to be carried out on one of our buildings, we will therefore be contacting the original contractors to seek costs.
We appreciate that this is still an unsettling and difficult time but we want to reiterate and reassure you that your safety is paramount. We have robust measures in place for your on-going safety. We have begun a process of inspecting all buildings of 18 metres and over that we own, to ensure that they are safe. Unfortunately, despite the positive news of possible funding, the process of testing and any remediation that needs to take place on buildings will still take time. We will of course continue to keep you updated and we appreciate your patience during this challenging time.