Selling a flat using the Building Safety Act?

Selling a flat using the Building Safety Act?

0:04 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago 6

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Hello, Has anyone sold a flat using the protection provided by the Building Safety Act? My daughter has received a letter from the block management company responsible for her building, confirming that, as required under the Act, she will not be asked to pay anything towards the remedial works needed to resolve the fire safety issued identified by a recent audit (no cladding issues, thankfully, just minor breaches such as gaps around fire safety doors, and similar issues).

She hopes this will allow her to now sell the flat after three years of uncertainty, but I’d be very interested to hear from anyone that has managed to use such a letter resulting from the Building Safety Act to help secure a sale, and which lender provided a mortgage on this basis if a mortgage was needed by the buyer.

She may try a ‘cash buyers only’ approach, if mortgage lenders are still reluctant to lend.

Thank you,

Steve


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Comments

Mark Pickersgill

11:05 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Hi Steve, good news in part only I'm afraid.
I recently also received a similar letter but two brokers were unable to find me any re-financing until the building receives a B1 certificate or better as it is currently B2 requiring some remedial work.
Obviously a cash buyer would work but those normally expect a discount or such like.
Similarly, if anyone knows a sympathetic lender I would be interested to know about them.
Mark

Kizzie

11:33 AM, 24th April 2023, About 10 months ago

I am not sure but I understood that qualifying leaseholders ie were flat owners on 28 February 2022 have to complete a form obtainable from government website and send it to the landlord which the lease says is the landlord to whom service charge to be paid. The landlord then has to send a signed and witnessed form to the flat owner confirming flat owner is qualified leaseholder and this to be placed with the Deeds and passed to new titleholders, otherwise the new purchaser will be held liable for remediation costs in service charge

Jim Fox

6:04 AM, 25th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Pickersgill at 24/04/2023 - 11:05
Hi Mark.
Sorry for appearing a bit 'dense' but can you please explain what a 'B1', or 'B2' certificate is?
I have owned a 5th (Top) Floor flat in a Georgian terrace building consisting of 5 flats (no cladding) for 18 years.
All 5 flat owners are directors and shareholders of a Right to Manage company that owns the freehold to the building, so is the 'Landlord' of the property.
We had our Fire Risk Assessment renewed earlier this year, and apart from fireproofing our electrical meter cupboard door (which has since been done) there were no other recommendations from the assessor.
To the best of my knowledge, there was no certificate issued by the assessor.
What are the ramifications if I wish to sell my flat?

Mark Pickersgill

8:13 AM, 25th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Hi Jim, the certification refers to the external wall system, EWS, and indicates a pass or fail, B2 being a fail/requiring some remedial work. I believe there are 4 grades in total from A1 to B2. The Fire Engineer's opinion is given on a EWS1 certificate.

Our building is over 18m high and contains potentially combustible external cladding but I believe different funding rules apply to smaller buildings like yours.

The FRA you recently had is different and is not usually undertaken by a fully qualified FE. The assessment for EWS is often intrusive and will focus on the cladding and the overall fire efficacy of the building (the FRA being one element) which, as I understand it, were the key issues on the Grenfell building.

The full EWS assessment criteria is contained in PAS 9980 and is complex.

I am not a FE and can only pass on my own experiences but do hope it helps. If in doubt your managing agent or chartered surveyor can advise further.

What I do know is that lenders remain reluctant if the building is over 18m high and does not have at least a B1 rating.

Regards

Jim Fox

9:32 AM, 25th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Pickersgill at 25/04/2023 - 08:13
Thanks for that clarification Mark.
Our building has no cladding whatsoever, and externally is built of Bath Stone (a period Georgian building) so do we actaully require an EWS Certificate?
We dont employ a Managing Agent, and have always self managed as a small group of Leaseholder/owners.
Im not sure of the exact height of our building but it comprises of a basement level, then hall floor, and then 3 further floors above that.

Mark Pickersgill

9:41 AM, 25th April 2023, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jim Fox at 25/04/2023 - 09:32Based on what you have said I doubt you will require a EWS1 certificate Jim so I think it unlikely that lenders would have any concerns about using the flat as security.
All the best

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