London City Hall

Housing association leaseholders in London need the GLA to act

Many leaseholders in London bought their flats through flagship government-backed schemes such as shared ownership. As a result, a significant number of leaseholders have a housing association (HA) as their landlord; the HA is also often the freeholder of their building, but this is not always the case.

Unfortunately, many leaseholders who are caught up in the building safety crisis have found that their HA has been unhelpful, and we hear frequent examples of leaseholders experiencing very poor customer service. We also hear many reports of requests for fire risk assessments (FRAs) and EWS1 documents being turned down by HAs. We are also aware of an increasing number of requests to sublet flats being summarily refused. HAs often fail to provide any support, but also fail to uphold leaseholders’ human right to adequate housing.

Shared ownership leaseholders are currently liable for 100% of building safety remediation costs, even if they own as little as a 25% share in their flat. Some shared ownership leaseholders in London have already lost their home and many are facing life-changing costs, bankruptcy and homelessness. This is all within the context of the Government continuing to promote shared ownership as an affordable way to “own” a home – unfortunately, the reality on the ground is very different.

We had an initial meeting to discuss these issues with Tom Copley, London’s Deputy Mayor in charge of Housing, on 4 June, 2021. We asked him to amend Great London Assembly (GLA) policy, where necessary, so that leaseholders are no longer trapped in their flat by their HA and are appropriately supported. You can read our letter summarizing some of our key asks sent after the meeting and Tom Copley’s response.

We did not think that enough had been done to address our concerns, so we wrote to Tom Copley again on 19 August: read our letter.

We are currently waiting for a response.

Call to action:

If you are an impacted leaseholder in London, please take action:

  • -        Share this post on social media and with your neighbours

  • -        Write to your London Assembly Members so that they can ask questions to the Mayor of London

  • -        Tell your story: get in touch with us if you are happy to be featured in the media

  • -        Write to your MP

  • -        Write to members of the House of Lords

The End Our Cladding Scandal campaign calls on the Government to lead an urgent, national effort to fix the building safety crisis.

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Find out more about the End Our Cladding Scandal Campaign

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