Peter Sproston

Registered with Property118.com
Monday 14th August 2017

Location
Truro

Trading Status
Joint

Providing essential rental accommodation since
1980

Insures properties through a broker recommended by Property118
Yes

Rating of Broker (1 - 5 where 5 is the highest)
4


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 1

Peter Sproston

18:21 PM, 12th February 2020
About 2 months ago

New RICS process to deal with high rise cladding?

This problem is the biggest one facing any flat owners in high rise buildings in the UK currently. It was highlighted in a BBC News article earlier this week: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51412328.

What the article failed to highlight was the sheer number of affected properties. There are believed to be over 10,000 high rise buildings requiring investigation which potentially could affect between 500k - 1m people. This is in addition to the ACM clad buildings, as at Grenfell, which must remove all of the cladding and barely half have done this yet after 3 years.

Surprisingly, 118 has hardly mentioned this issue other than when recently someone posted about the RICS/Association of Building Societies/UK Finance roadmap, Form EWS 1 that was issued late last year to help hi rise building owners tackle the issue.

In response to an earlier poster, just because a building has a brick finish means little when these could be brick slips as part of an EWI (external wall insulation) cladding system and which is very common. EWI can be plain render finish as well as curtain walling, all with potentially combustible insulation behind it and all needs professionally investigating.

The capacity of the industry to deal with this will be seriously tested as there are currently not enough qualified professionals to investigate the problem added to which if a high proportion do need this cladding removed, and which I sincerely hope will not in the end be necessary, there will be a shortage of contractors and even scaffolding to be able to deal with the problem and which simply will take years.

I own properties in two buildings that are currently under investigation and we are only just starting to make progress.

Eventually, I believe, the banks and building societies are going to have to pressure the government to get involved and provide some sort of underwriting safety net and possibly become insurer of last resort, as they have previously done for both flood and terrorism insurance. This would then enable the insurers to provide buildings cover, which is getting very hard to get currently too, and which would then hopefully give some confidence to lenders so that people could buy and sell their properties again. Don't forget that the current lenders providing mortgages on these properties are effectively having their assets seriously down valued with surveyor valuations coming in at or around zero, and which has to affect their balance sheets.

Hopefully this may provoke some more responses on this issue on 118. If you want some confirmation on this talk to any estate agent about trying to sell properties in high rise buildings at the moment and they will likely tell you that unless it is a cash sale they are currently unmortgageable, and even then a cash buyer will likely be advised by their solicitor not to proceed.

Sorry to be so gloomy for the original poster but we have sellers in exactly the same boat as you in our buildings and they are beginning to realise that this issue won't be solved overnight.... Read More