Industry News Rhianna Abrey 17/01/2022

New DLUHC cladding announcement: NRLA seeks clarification

Today we wrote to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, requesting further clarity on whether individual landlords who are leaseholders will be covered by the department’s recent move to ensure no individual leaseholder will have to pay to fix unsafe cladding.

Aside from welcoming the Secretary of State’s decision to take this important step, we also set out new soon-to-be-published research insights which reveal that 45% of individual landlords are not wealthy property tycoons. In this letter we also state our firm belief that individual leaseholder landlords and owner occupiers should be treated equally.

Our letter, which is addressed to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities & Local Government, reads as follows:

Dear Secretary of State, 

As the national voice for private landlords we welcome the Government’s commitment that leaseholders should not be expected to pay for remedial action to address unsafe cladding.

In view of this we seek urgent clarification as to the support that individual private landlords, renting out single apartments in blocks of flats will be able to access following your announcements on 10th January.

According to yet to be published polling by YouGov for the NRLA, 45% of private landlords rent out at least one flat or apartment and as you will be aware the vast majority of landlords are individuals and not wealthy property tycoons. As the Department’s own private landlord survey shows:

  • 94% of private landlords rent property out as an individual.
  • 45% of private landlords rent out just one property.
  • 44% of private landlords became one to contribute to a pension.

In addition, a recent response to a written parliamentary question has shown that 70% of landlords are basic rate income taxpayers.

We understand that having ended the proposal for loans for leaseholders in medium-rise buildings to cover the cost of fixing dangerous cladding, the Government plans to work with industry to ensure that grant support is directed firstly at those leaseholders living in their own homes. It is our understanding that only then, in these negotiations, will the Government explore whether this support should extend to other leaseholders such as landlords.

We are concerned as to why the Government is so reluctant at present to commit to landlords, who are leaseholders, receiving the same support as owner-occupiers. Both groups have faced the same problems, and both should be treated equally. We are calling on the Government to rectify this problem as a matter of urgency.

More broadly, it would be unnecessarily complicated to single out individual landlords as many, if not most, of those affected will be in mixed use buildings and will have had no involvement with the developer. All of this could, as a result, slow down the important work of taking remedial action against dangerous cladding.

We question also how this situation would be fair to accidental landlords who were forced to rent out their properties because they could not sell due to cladding uncertainties.

I should be grateful for urgent clarification on this point and for an opportunity to discuss this with the Department.

Given the interest in the issue I am making this letter publicly available on the NRLA website and look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Beadle

Chief Executive

Why we need your help

Following this, we asking our members to get in touch by emailing if you're someone who has been affected by cladding issues in order to assist us with case study work. 

Additionally, we're encouraging our members who have been affected by this, to write to their MPs. In order to do this we have some guidance on our webiste which you may find helpful, by clicking here