News & Events

Our letter to the LUHC Committee: Thousands of ‘non-qualifying’ leaseholders are excluded from protection

Michael Gove will be questioned during an evidence session with the cross-party LUHC Committee on Monday 21 November, covering a wide range of issues including building safety.

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Report on October 2021 Barratt Development Plc AGM

Companies use Annual General Meetings (AGMs) to show shareholders how well the Directors are running the company. With the right planning, and access to company shares, they are a good opportunity for campaigners to raise issues with key decision-makers.

Thanks to our friends at ShareAction who lent him a share, Dave Richards from the London Cladding Action Group attended developer Barratt’s AGM on 13 October. The meeting was held on a hybrid physical/virtual basis with a small number of other shareholders in attendance, able to speak directly to the Barratt Board of Directors.

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Building Safety Bill: McPartland-Smith Amendments

This is a guide to the McPartland-Smith amendments to the Building Safety Bill, as at 27 July 2021. We recommend that you read it together with the amendments. Many thanks to Liam Spender for providing this helpful summary.

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Summary of Meeting Between Resident Groups, Lord Greenhalgh and MHCLG

Government announcement on withdrawal of Consolidated Advice Note (CAN)

We met with Lord Greenhalgh and MHCLG officials on 22 July. Our detailed notes of the meeting are below. We expect the next meeting to take place after the summer recess.

Our previous meeting with MHCLG was on 26 May (see meeting notes); you may also want to check the notes of our March roundtable with MHCLG, ABI and BIBA.

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Our statement on EWS1 requirements – Building Safety Bill

We cautiously welcome today’s shock government announcement on EWS1 and the need to inject some much-needed common sense into how building safety is being handled for low- and medium-rise apartment buildings – a true and proportionate risk-based approach is something we have been calling for since we relaunched our campaign.

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Our response to the Building Safety Bill

The Building Safety Bill offers the unique chance for the Government to finally take control of the building safety crisis and, once and for all, to help leaseholders who, through no fault of their own, have found themselves physically, financially and mentally trapped. Unfortunately, the Government still seems scared of getting a grip on this nightmare that has blighted our lives for years.

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HCLG Committee questions Lord Greenhalgh on forced loans and non-cladding costs

When Lord Greenhalgh (Minister for Building Safety) and Richard Goodman (Director-General for Building Safety at MHCLG) appeared before the HCLG Committee on 8th March, it was already 1,363 days since the Grenfell tragedy. Forty-five months. Almost four years. Yet there was still no sign of urgency in solving the building safety crisis for the thousands of leaseholders who remain trapped.

Leaseholders frequently tell us they have heard nothing since their building applied to the Building Safety Fund last summer. When asked why the pace of non-ACM remediation funding has been so slow (only £160m of the £1bn fund has been allocated so far), Lord Greenhalgh said the delays were due to applicants, as information is missing or insufficient in about half of all registrations.

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Our response to RICS Guidance on Valuation of Residential Buildings with Cladding

When we relaunched our campaign in September 2020, one of our key Campaign Aims was a fairer, faster process to replace EWS1 together with the Government funding necessary to ensure all buildings requiring a form are surveyed at pace, to help the millions of people trapped in limbo due to the zero-risk approach inherent in the Government’s January 2020 Advice Notes.

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Our report from Taylor Wimpey’s 2024 AGM

Thanks to the support of ShareAction, we were recently able to attend Taylor Wimpey’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 23rd April 2024, near the company’s headquarters in Buckinghamshire. 

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Our response to DLUHC’s Call for Evidence on Jointly Owned Leases

In a press release in November 2023, the Government promised that the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill (LFRB) would include measures to ensure “that the leaseholder protections are not unfairly weighted against those who own properties jointly”. Yet on 1st May 2024, during the Committee Stage of the Bill in the House of Lords, Baroness Scott of Bybrook, DLUHC’s minister in the Lords, seemed to indicate that the Government might be preparing its excuses for not fulfilling its commitment to correct the unfairness to leaseholders who own properties jointly. She said, “Changing the leaseholder protection regime so that it is linked to a share of ownership, rather than individual properties, would also introduce an unnecessary level of uncertainty and complexity into the protections.”

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Our Meeting with Vistry Group – April 2024

On 5th April, we met Vistry Group to discuss their progress with making homes safe and how they can support leaseholders and residents through this process. The group has identified 327 buildings for fire safety remediation works so it has one of the largest programmes in the industry. Based on information from the published accounts of the 45 leading developers in the Responsible Actors Scheme, Vistry accounts for just under £1 in every £10 that is expected to be spent on fire safety remediation works across the country.

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Redrow agrees to fund remediation at Celestia

Redrow has written to the volunteer directors of the Celestia complex in Cardiff, finally offering to undertake remediation works there at its own expense. The estimated date for work to begin is “early 2025” – approaching two years since the Welsh Government confirmed that Redrow had signed the Deed of Bilateral Contract.

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Our meeting with the Building Societies Association

In January, we met with the Building Societies Association (BSA), to highlight the continuing difficulties that leaseholders affected by the building safety scandal are having with remortgaging and selling their homes.

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Half of High-Rise Mortgage Valuations Still Require an EWS1 Despite Industry Pledge

In an attempt to revive the flatlining market for flats affected by cladding and other building safety defects, major mortgage lenders pledged in December 2022 that they would lend without an EWS1 form being required under certain conditions. However, the latest government data shows no improvement on this measure since reporting began three years ago. 

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Our statement on the LUHC Select Committee Report on Shared Ownership

We welcome the Select Committee’s report into shared ownership affordability. We agree fully with the Committee’s conclusion that shared ownership products can often become unaffordable over time as shared owners have to pay for 100% of repairs and maintenance costs despite only owning a proportion of the property. Clearly, this is unfair.

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Our report from Crest Nicholson’s 2024 AGM

On 19th March 2024, we attended Crest Nicholson’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at their offices in Surrey, to ask the board of directors about their progress remediating unsafe buildings. We attended as ShareAction’s shareholder representative and would like to thank them for their ongoing support for our campaign.

Unfortunately, the encounter did not leave us assured that Crest Nicholson are acting with urgency to fix buildings, or that the company understands the enormous impact on leaseholders and residents living in their unsafe homes. 

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Our statement on launch of the ABI’s Fire Safety Reinsurance Facility

It is now 18 months since the FCA recommended that the Association of British Insurers (ABI) “work with the Government to create a risk pooling solution, providing a plan for this solution and its implementation within 2 months”, and that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) “consider Government providing financial backing of the risk-pool”.

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Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill: Ensuring the Building Safety Act operates as intended

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill had its third reading in the House of Commons on 27th February – read the transcript in full here and watch the building safety excerpts here – and is due in the House of Lords in the coming weeks.

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