Leaseholders of high-rise properties that enquired for information about the Building Safety Bill will be happy to hear that more information has been released about the Bill in Wales. Over the weekend we received further information from the Welsh Minister for Climate Change Julie James about what effect the bill will have in Wales. So we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions we received regarding the bill’s effects in Wales.
Three programs have been put in place to carry out and aid with the costs of repair works; Repair of non-compliant cladding in high-rise buildings, The Welsh Building Safety Fund, and the Leaseholder Support Scheme. For the first scheme, the removal of non-compliant cladding has been completed on 3 social high-rises and it has been started or planned on 12 private buildings. Through the Welsh Building Safety Fund over 100 buildings have been identified as needing further intrusive surveys in Wales. According to the Minister, £357 million had been allocated to repairs so leaseholders shouldn’t have to pay.
The Leaseholder Support Scheme has been set up to buy out leaseholders struggling with the financial costs associated with selling the property. These costs can accrue due to the fire safety issues caused by unsafe cladding. On BBC Politics Wales Minister James announced that the criteria for this scheme would be ‘financial hardship’ and continued that ‘individual circumstances’ such as being unable to make mortgage payments would be one of them. However, we are still awaiting further details on this scheme so we will update you when they come out.
A Building Safety Reform Bill is being introduced within this Senedd term. It will build upon the responses given in a White Paper consultation on building safety in spring 2021. Furthermore, the developer’s pledge that the Welsh government had been working on in collaboration with the UK government has been announced by Michael Gove as being an England only scheme. Minister James has said that already developers were only committing to helping with cladding costs in England and has called on the Minister for Leveling Up, Michael Gove to make the scheme UK wide.
If you are a leaseholder or property developer in Wales and want to know more about how these changes can affect your assets please feel free to contact us here.