Industry News Rhianna Abrey 11/03/2022

Government wrong to make landlords pay to replace unsafe cladding argue MP's

A cross party group of MPs has opposed the Government’s plans to make many buy-to-let landlords pay for the replacement of dangerous cladding.

Ministers have proposed that landlords renting out more than one leasehold property will be excluded from its commitment that no leaseholder should have to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding following the Grenfell tragedy.

Following evidence provided by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee has said in its report on building safety published today that: “Buy-to-let landlords are no more to blame than other leaseholders for historic building safety defects and landing them with potentially unaffordable bills will only slow down or prevent works to make buildings safe.”

In its evidence to the Committee the NRLA argued that it was completely unfair that individual landlords should be the only leaseholders not to be covered by the Government’s plans to finance the removal of dangerous cladding.

The Committee noted that it had heard from landlords “who find themselves outside of the scope of the protections, who invested in properties to support their children, to provide income after being made redundant, to help pay for the costs of caring for relatives, or to provide for their retirement”. All of these, it said, are “now facing bills they cannot afford.”

This is supported by a reference in the report to the story of one landlord who had used compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority to invest in flats after the murder of their husband in the 7/7 atrocity. They told the Committee that they now face “vast bills”.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“We are delighted that the Committee agrees with us. The Government’s decision to exclude buy-to-let landlords renting more than one property from its scheme is unfair and unacceptable. As the Committee rightly notes landlords are no more to blame than other leaseholders for historic building safety defects.

“Ministers now need to stop dragging their feet on this issue, accept the Committee’s conclusions and end its unjust and inexcusable policy.”