Latest News

Reviewal date set for housing market in Wales to fully open

10 July 2020

First Minister, Mark Drakeford has today, 10 July 2020 announced in his statement reviewing the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations that the Welsh Government will consider reopening the housing market, to allow viewings in occupied properties, from 27 July 2020. Read More...

LBTT threshold must be implemented immediately

09 July 2020

In response to the Chancellor's Summer Statement at Westminster, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes MSP, has said that the Scottish Government will raise the threshold for Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) from £145,000 to £250,000. Read More...

Electronic signatures for conveyancers

09 July 2020

HM Land Registry has today, 9 July issued draft guidance on the introduction of e-signatures in order to tackle the issues that legal formalities have caused during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More...

Court case brings to light the importance of Sales Protocol Toolkit

09 July 2020

A recent case where a surveyor failed to identify serious remedial issues has highlighted the importance of using Propertymark’s Sales Protocol Toolkit to help minimise potential misconduct when selling a property. Read More...

Leaseholders call for Government help with cladding security costs

Thursday 26 March 2020

Leaseholders in buildings cladded with flammable materials have called for support with the cost of interim safety measures during the Coronavirus crisis.

A statement was issued jointly by cladding action groups around the UK, calling on ministers to help with the costs of ‘waking watches’, in which wardens patrol the building throughout the day and night to check for fire. Waking watches are a mandatory requirement by many fire authorities in order to allow buildings to remain occupied and can reach costs of £1,000 per month for every flat in an affected building.


The cost is currently met by leaseholders in many privately rented buildings. As people self-isolate due to the viral pandemic, cladding action groups claim that leaseholders are struggling to meet these costs.

Quote mark

The COVID-19 outbreak is the biggest public health challenge for a generation. We acknowledge the huge strain this rapidly changing crisis will place on government and the number of people who will require support as a result of it.

Nonetheless, the situation is particularly critical for many leaseholders in buildings with dangerous cladding. The huge additional and ongoing costs that many leaseholders have to pay as a result of living in dangerous cladding blocks means they face an impossible decision about work and self-isolation. No income means no ability to pay for the waking watch the building needs for them to stay in that building.

As these costs are not currently within the scope of the £1bn fund announced in the Budget, additional help is urgently required. For us, self-isolating means returning to a building which is a potential death trap. With many more people working at home or not able to work at all, they will be spending much more time in buildings where there are grave concerns about safety.


Leasehold action groupsJoint statement

 

The waking watch costs are in addition to insurance premiums at many buildings, neither of which are covered by recent budget provisions which are for the removal of existing cladding only.

The National Fire Chiefs Council has issued guidelines to building owners and managers on measures to take if they are worried about the suitability of waking watches during the national lockdown for COVID-19.

LEASEHOLD: A LIFE SENTENCE?

Propertymark has campaigned on issues surrounding leasehold sales, calling for the government to change the laws surrounding leasehold and establish a New Homes Ombudsman.

Leasehold

CORONAVIRUS

Propertymark is keeping our members up to date with the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis. Look out for updates on our news pages. 

Latest news