The Government has established a £1bn fund to encourage the removal of unsafe non-ACM (Aluminium Composite Materials) cladding on certain high rise residential buildings. Building owners, landlords and management companies who are legally responsible for the repair of buildings may be eligible to part cost the works through the Fund rather than trying to recoup them from leaseholders through their service charge.
The fund has been designed to ensure the safety of residents and to provide protection against hikes in service charges. Despite the purpose of the fund, residents are not eligible to apply for such funding direct.
The dangers of ACM cladding systems are terrifyingly clear. The spread of fire at Grenfell Tower has been linked to the use of ACM cladding. Non-ACM cladding includes other metal composite panels, render and timber wall systems and high pressure laminate panels. These have also been shown to be fail current fire safety standards.
Qualification for funding is based on:
1. The building must in part be used for residential purposes – buildings like hospitals and hotels where there are no residential leaseholders will not be eligible.
2. There being no other means of funding the cost of works other than through leaseholder service charge.
Where remediation work has started on buildings with non-ACM cladding systems in scope or where work had been previously committed to, prior to the Budget announcement of the Fund on 11 March 2020, these works will not eligible for the Fund. Limited information has been provided on what “committed to” actually means in terms of eligibility for funding but it will not include re-imbursement for the cost of remediation works WHICH have already been carried out.
The intention of the Fund is to cover the capital cost of removing and replacing unsafe non-ACM and works directly related to replacing these systems. It does not however cover the cost of other works which are necessary to meet fire safety compliance.
Please note the deadline for registering applications under the Fund closes on 31 July 2020. Failure to register means you will be unable to receive support from the Fund even if you were otherwise eligible.
Please call the Development and Social Housing team at Perrin Myddelton for further information in support of your application for registration to the Fund.