Numerous owners in the UK cannot sell their apartments due to concerns relating to the cladding on their buildings. It appears approximately 200 high rise apartments are clad in flammable materials, leaving up to 1.3m homes unmortgageable.
The number of apartment sales fell by about 5,600 or 48% in September, down from 11,500 transactions during the same month in 2019. Transactions for apartments fell at almost twice the rate of those for houses, suggesting the cause is not the pandemic, according to the Leasehold Knowledge Partnership charity.
The cost of rectifying existing cladding for an apartment is typically £30,000, although this figure can be much higher. Some government assistance is available, but the subsidy scheme has been highly criticised as inadequate and opaque, with claimants being ‘gagged’ over making adverse public comments.
Additionally, it has been claimed that over the past two years over £500m has been spent on building apartments with potentially dangerous cladding. This is despite the lessons learned from the Grenfell disaster.
This has all the hallmarks of a major problem for the industry and investors and importantly, a huge safety risk for occupiers of affected apartments.
If you own an apartment, take steps to ensure your building is not at risk.