Unsafe cladding is just one urgent issue in the dysfunctional housing sector

Editorial: At a time when there is still so much concern about housing, and so much loose talk about ‘building back better’, it is strange that ministers are still presiding over such an unsatisfactory legal and commercial framework

Monday 10 January 2022 21:30
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<p>Leaseholders cannot be responsible for failures by freeholders, property developers, builders or suppliers of defective cladding and materials</p>

Leaseholders cannot be responsible for failures by freeholders, property developers, builders or suppliers of defective cladding and materials

Almost five years since the tragedy of Grenfell Tower, there are many thousands of people still trapped in buildings that are unsafe, unsaleable and a potential threat to life itself.

None of this is the fault of the leaseholders, who in many cases have stretched themselves to get a foot on the housing ladder. It is not even a case of caveat emptor. Leaseholders, by definition, cannot be responsible for failures by freeholders, property developers, builders, or suppliers of defective cladding and materials.

It is not those who have to live in these places who skimped on safety and broke the rules on fire doors, say, or firebreaks. It is very often a case of straightforward mis-selling, akin to “dieselgate” in the car industry or the pensions industry scandals of recent decades.

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