03 April 2023
Summary:Leaseholders to be protected from building safety remediation costs
We are pleased to confirm that, following a review, we will not be passing on any cost for building safety remediation works to our leaseholders in buildings above 11 metres or 5 storeys in height.
We have consistently called for the government to ensure that leaseholders would be protected from having to meet building safety costs. We know that uncertainty over this issue has affected some leaseholders, including leading to difficulties obtaining mortgages.
In line with the introduction of the Building Safety Act 2022, we have updated our approach to recharging for relevant building safety defects. For buildings above 11 metres or 5 storeys in height, MTVH will:
- Not pass on any cost for building safety remediation works
- Not recover any historic costs from residents
- Not charge for interim measures, such as temporary alarm installations and waking watch services.
The Building Safety Act outlines comprehensive protections for leaseholders preventing them from being recharged for any ‘relevant defects’, which we welcome. Although there remained an option for housing providers like MTVH to recharge for certain elements of fire safety remediation, our position throughout has been to look to protect leaseholders from these costs. We are, therefore, pleased to confirm that we will not be passing on any cost for building safety remediation works in buildings above 11 metres or 5 storeys in height.
This decision has not changed our approach or commitment to hold developers or contractors to account by having them remediate buildings at their costs, and to recover costs from original contractors and developers. We will continue to hold any responsible party to recover costs if we have a legal basis to do so.
Where we are not the freeholder of a building, we will urge the responsible freeholder to follow the same approach, as well as challenging any claims for costs associated with building safety.
We will always place the interests of our residents first, which is why we have decided not to pass on these remediation costs to leaseholders in buildings above 11 metres or 5 storeys in height. We understand the significant concern this issue has caused some of our residents and hope this update will be welcomed.
Our dedicated Safer Buildings Team will continue to provide specific updates directly to residents about their buildings and progress being made. Further information and frequently asked questions can be found on our website here.
MTVH, like other social housing providers, is having to meet the cost of addressing building safety defects where this cannot be recovered from developers and contractors. For MTVH alone, we estimate that this cost will be in the region of over £350 million over the next decade. We continue to raise this challenge with the government, and to call for support for not-for-profit social housing providers impacted by this situation.
What about buildings below 11 meters or 5 storeys in height?
Our decision not to pass on any cost for building safety remediation works to our leaseholders does not apply to buildings below 11 metres in height. This is because the leaseholder protections in the Building Safety Act do not apply to buildings below 11 metres in height.
If your building is below 11 metres in height, addressing any building safety issues through lower-cost mitigations, such as fire alarms, is likely to be far more appropriate and proportionate. In line with the Building Safety Act and government guidance, we have focused our investigations and remediation programme on buildings above 11 metres height.