Property management company joins call for multibillion pound cladding fund
Midlands-based managing agent SDL Property Management has joined a coalition of cladding campaigners, residents, property managers and the UK’s largest freeholders to call for a new multibillion-pound fund to remediate unsafe buildings.
The move comes as new research shows that half a million people could be living in unsafe buildings as a result of the cladding crisis.
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA), analysed apartment blocks across the country, revealing a worryingly high number of people that may be living in unsafe buildings that were initially passed by building control when they were built.
Amongst the materials now classed as unsafe is High Pressure Laminate (HPL), which is at least as flammable as the ACM cladding used on Grenfell Tower. However, the Government’s existing fund to fix unsafe building is limited to ACM cladding only.
SDL Property Management has now joined forces with other leading industry firms to write an open letter to the new Chancellor asking him to step in and provide extra funding to make these homes safe. Without that support, the fear is that the cost, likely to run into billions, will have to be passed to leaseholders.
Mark Trumper, managing director of estate management at SDL Group, said: “It’s quite frankly unfair that homeowners are facing excessive bills for failed building safety policies that date back decades, often way before they owned the lease on their home. We’re proud to be part of this new coalition supporting leaseholders to get the funding they need to make their home safe.
“Building owners and property managers have been stepping in to fix buildings but where costs aren’t recoverable from the original developers or via insurance claims, the cost falls to leaseholders. The bills can be tens of thousands, it’s just not affordable.
“The crisis is wider than many imagined and impacts buildings in every city of the UK. It’s to the Government’s credit that ACM cladding remediation is being funded following the Grenfell tragedy but the study by ARMA shows that the issue is much deeper than that. We urge the Chancellor to recognise the severity of the situation we are facing and step in.”
Photo: Guido van Nispen / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)