Leasehold: Battersea

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 18th January 2023.

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Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Labour, Battersea

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help enfranchised leaseholders in Battersea constituency with uncapped costs of fixing building safety defects.

Photo of Lee Rowley Lee Rowley Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

The leaseholder protection provisions in the Building Safety Act 2022 provided for the transfer of responsibility for the costs of remediating building safety defects from the leaseholder to the freeholder and developer. These provisions do not apply if the building is collectively owned by the leaseholders, for example, buildings where the leaseholders have collectively enfranchised and set up a company to purchase the freehold. This is because the enfranchised company effectively is the freeholder. The department published a call for evidence on leaseholder-owned buildings, which closed on 14 November 2022 and is now collating and analysing the evidence.

We will shortly publish the final remediation contract that we expect developers to sign, committing them to remediate building-safety defects for which they are responsible. Enfranchised leaseholders living in buildings covered by the developer pledge will be protected from the cost of remedying life-critical safety defects arising from the building’s design and/or construction. Furthermore, leaseholders in buildings over 11m tall are protected from the costs of remediating unsafe cladding even where their developer has not signed the contract, as costs can be met from the Building Safety Fund or from the Medium-Rise Fund, which will open to all relevant buildings later this year. This includes enfranchised leaseholders.

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