Principle Estate Management has welcomed the government’s decision to reopen the Building Safety Fund (BSF) for new applications.
Andrew Winstanley, property operations manager at Principle, said: “This had been expected but the BSF for remediation projects on high-rise projects with cladding issues now has the added ability for leaseholders to check and prove if they qualify for the recently published legal leaseholder protections against unfair costs, under the Building Safety Act.”
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has adapted the BSF to ensure high-rise buildings continue to be made safe while focussing on ensuring the approach is risk-driven, proportionate, and can be delivered more quickly.
But Mr Winstanley stressed that leaseholders and their management representatives would have to move swiftly if they are to take full advantage.
“If you registered your building in 2020, but have yet to reach the full application stage, then you only have two months to 30 September to provide the full evidence of your claim that is required.”
New and revised applications will be required to provide a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FRAEW) and this must be carried out by a competent person.
And a new online Leasehold Protections Checker will help leaseholders understand if they qualify for financial protections against historical building safety costs, under the Building Safety Act. Those that the protections apply to will need to complete and submit a leaseholder Deed of Certificate to their building owner to confirm if they have to pay anything or not.
Government statistics reveal that 48 developers have pledged to fix all buildings over 11 metres high that they played a role in developing in the last 30 years.
“But these projects are complex, and it is vital that both leaseholders and residents are kept informed at all stages of the work, and are made aware of the implications of each stage of the process,” said Mr Winstanley.
“Professional advice and ongoing guidance from regulated companies such as Principle Estate Management is essential to ensure that your building rectification proceeds correctly.
“Public safety is paramount and the whole point of this exercise, and the principal lesson learned, is that the tragedy of Grenfell Tower must never be allowed to happen again.”
With offices in Birmingham and London, Principle now has approximately 50 staff and looks after nearly 9,000 property units in more than 250 developments across the UK.