Industry News Rhianna Abrey 31/01/2022

Cladding removal plans ill thought out warn landlords

Government plans to rectify dangerous cladding are riddled with confusion and risk needless delays to addressing the problem.

That’s the warning from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) as its Chief Executive prepares to speak to MPs on the issue.

Earlier this month the Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, announced plans to force developers to pay for remedial action to tackle dangerous cladding on buildings between 11 and 18 metres high.

In the same announcement he argued that leaseholders should not be expected to foot the bill. However, Ministers have now admitted that they have yet to decide if buy-to-let landlords will be included within the scheme.

In a parliamentary answer the Housing Minister has confirmed that those who sublet properties because they cannot sell them due to dangerous cladding will be included in the Government’s scheme. But he also stated that a decision about extending it to buy-to-let landlords has yet to be taken.

The NRLA is warning that the Government’s plans are not treating all leaseholders equally. In the process they also risk delaying remedial work on dangerous cladding as the Government seeks to understand who may be an accidental or buy-to-let landlord.

Speaking ahead of his appearance before the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee this afternoon Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“It makes no sense to be treating leaseholders who are landlords so differently to owner-occupiers. Both groups have faced the same problems, and both should be treated equally. We are calling on the Government to rectify this injustice as a matter of urgency.”

The NRLA is campaigning on behalf of landlords such as Ian Davies in Cardiff.

Ian owns one rental property, a flat he purchased on the fifth floor of a six-storey building six years ago to support his pension. Since then, it has been revealed that the building is covered with flammable timber cladding panels and the whole block has compartmentation issues. As a result, the six-monthly management fee he pays has increased from £700 to £3,000, completely outweighing his rental income.  Ian has expressed serious concerns about the lack of support for residential landlords along with the rising costs of service charges and waking watch expenses.