developers must pay

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove has "guaranteed that no leaseholder living in their own flat will have to pay a penny to fix unsafe cladding."

In a statement to parliament on 10 January, Michael Gove has outlined DLUHC's stance on the cladding crisis, saying: 

"More than four years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the system is broken. Leaseholders are trapped, unable to sell their homes and facing vast bills.

"But the developers and cladding companies who caused the problem are dodging accountability and have made vast profits during the pandemic whilst hard working families have struggled.

"From today, we are bringing this scandal to an end – protecting leaseholders and making industry pay. We will scrap proposals for loans and long-term debt for leaseholders in medium-rise buildings and give a guarantee that no leaseholder living in their own flat will pay a penny to fix dangerous cladding."

Michael Gove also revealed a four-point plan "to reset the government’s approach:"

  • Opening up the next phase of the Building Safety Fund to drive forward taking dangerous cladding off high-rise buildings, prioritising the government’s £5.1 billion funding on the highest risk
  • Those at fault will be held properly to account: a new team is being established to pursue and expose companies at fault, making them fix the buildings they built and face commercial consequences if they refuse
  • Restoring common sense to building assessments: indemnifying building assessors from being sued; and withdrawing the old, misinterpreted government advice that prompted too many buildings being declared as unsafe
  • New protections for leaseholders living in their own flats: with no bills for fixing unsafe cladding and new statutory protections for leaseholders within the Building Safety Bill

Dame Judith Hackitt referred to the announcement as "very welcome" and that it should come as "great relief to leaseholders."

Dr Jim Glockling, the FPA's technical director, said that this is: "great news for more of those innocently forced into this terrible situation. We still need clarification of the role that poor guidance may have played in creating it. Incorrect or unclear guidance is abuseable/exploitable and therefore potentially implicated. There are messages here for how well or not the rules are able to support the rapid rate of innovation with Modern Methods of Construction."

The government’s plan to protect leaseholders and make the industry pay for the cladding crisis can be read in full here.