Shining Wit

Registered with Property118.com
Sunday 3rd November 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 31

Shining Wit

18:37 PM, 22nd September 2021, About a month ago

Treat us fairly

Perhaps Michael Gove will take more (or at least some) interest in housing issues currently blighting Leaseholder's lives and now more in the media spotlight...

The Building Safety Crisis will not be solved by expecting leaseholders to fund any works in advance.
Even ignoring the morality of charging them for failings they had no part in creating (in buildings they don't even own) - they just don't have the available funds to pay the enormous bills (anything up to £200,000 per leaseholder, many millions per affected building)...... Read More

Shining Wit

11:35 AM, 17th September 2021, About a month ago

Yet another new Housing Minister - 'Big Beast' Michael Gove

Perhaps Michael Gove will take more (or at least some) interest in the Leaseholder issue(s) currently in the media spotlight...

The Building Safety Crisis will not be solved by expecting leaseholders to fund any works in advance.
Even ignoring the morality of charging them for failings they had no part in creating (in buildings they don't even own) - they just don't have the available funds to pay the enormous bills (anything up to £200,000 per leaseholder, many millions per affected building)...... Read More

Shining Wit

10:12 AM, 17th September 2021, About a month ago

New Housing Minister Good News For Property Investors?

Perhaps Michael Gove will take more (or at least some) interest in the Leaseholder issue(s) currently in the media spotlight...

The Building Safety Crisis will not be solved by expecting leaseholders to fund any works in advance.
Even ignoring the morality of charging them for failings they had no part in creating (in buildings they don't even own) - they just don't have the available funds to pay the enormous bills (anything up to £200,000 per leaseholder, many millions per affected building)...... Read More

Shining Wit

10:34 AM, 31st August 2021, About 2 months ago

#EndOurCladdingScandal

While it is true that the government doesn’t have any of its own money, it does have access to – and happily spends – a lot of taxpayers money on things which we don’t all agree with (railway upgrades, schools, roads, nuclear power stations, furlough schemes, UC uplifts).
Is it right that working families who do not should fork out for ?

The objective is (or should be), to fix all the safety defects as quickly as possible – and ensure that the costs of doing so are fairly apportioned.
Putting aside, for a moment, the injustice of passing the cost of fixing historic deliberate ‘build defects’ onto leaseholders under the guise of ‘maintenance’, I’d like to highlight a couple of ‘unintended consequences’ of the current proposals.

Works can’t start until all the funds are ‘in place’ – so any delay in securing the funding will delay the remediation.

Contrary to Ian’s comments, Leaseholders will not have any means to control the costs – that will all be ‘managed’ by the building’s Managing Agents who actually work for the freeholder and add commission (10-15%) and charge it all to the leaseholders.

Adding extra obligations onto the Managing Agents (before they pass the costs on to leaseholders) will only delay the fundraising. Similarly, actually sending a bill for £75,000 to each leaseholder is more likely to induce forfeiture, bankruptcy and homelessness (and potentially loss of employment/career in some professions) than it is to result in payment. Ordinary individuals/families are receiving these enormous bills and they will probably not have the odd £50k ‘stuffed under the mattress’.

Thanks to confusing EWS1 guidance/interpretation, many flats now have zero value, so leaseholders have negative equity, can’t sell or re-mortgage and the flats can’t be used as security for any additional loan.

The Building Safety (BS) Fund is a step in the right direction – but it currently only covers some unsafe cladding (‘ACM’). It doesn’t cover other unsafe materials or construction elements (such as dangerous insulation and missing/ineffective fire breaks/compartmentation) and, of course, it only covers high rise flats (18m+), and not lower-rise buildings, that could actually be a greater risk.

There is so much that is wrong with the current proposals, that it isn’t practical to outline it here, let alone give detailed costings of a fairer solution. However, having spoken to a number of affected leaseholders and read assorted blogs and forums, I can say that the current government proposals create a number of issues, whereas the various suggested amendments to the Building Safety Bill go a long way to delivering a quick, fairer, solution – which is, after all, what we should be aiming for.... Read More

Shining Wit

10:50 AM, 28th August 2021, About 2 months ago

#EndOurCladdingScandal

Like Dale, I usually enjoy reading Ian's comments (for the reasons has given), but I agree that, in this instance, Ian's views are missing (part of) the point of the problem.

Leaseholders are unable to pay the obscene sums. Nor do they have any control over what the costs are. Nor did they play any part in creating the problem.

Fire risk assessors determine what the risks are, and the managing agents (acting on behalf of the freeholder) find contractors to quote for the work - knowing that all the costs will be passed onto the leaseholder (along with sizeable commission for the agents). Currently, there is a shortage of competent contractors (and some of the same companies/manufacturers helped cause the faults).
There is clearly a conflict of interest here, and the leaseholders are powerless to do anything about it.

The objective, surely, has to be to remediate all the safety risks as quickly as possible - and the only way to do that is for the government to provide the funds up front, manage how the costs are being spent, and then recover the costs from the guilty parties . We must ensure that all necessary works are carried out (there's no point fixing the cladding if the insulation behind it will still burn). The current proposals (BS Fund) only cover a fraction of the costs - with the rest being passed on to leaseholders. If they can't pay, the works can't start.

Do you have £50k readily available?
Do you know (of) anyone that could pay a bill of that size in 28 days?
We now know that Boris couldn't.

Leaseholders didn't create this mess.
The Grenfell Inquiry is gradually unravelling what went wrong - and it isn't a pretty picture. It has shown that leaseholders were not responsible and neither were taxpayers.
It is a government responsibility to expedite the solution/remediation while protecting the innocent.
The current proposals do neither - but the proposed amendments go a long way to doing both.
Please encourage your MP's to support the amendments.

Thank-you.
SW... Read More