23 Feb 2022

The government has been accused of basing its policy to solve the cladding crisis on the assumption that landlords are Property tycoons.

Such an assumption is lazy and false according to the National Residential Landlords Association.

The angry response follows comments made by the Housing Secretary Michael Gove, to MPs on the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee.He reiterated that private landlords who rent out more than one leasehold property will not be covered by the government’s commitment that no leaseholder should have to pay to address dangerous cladding. 

He argued that this was because he did not want to support those who already had “significant means”to pay for remedial action themselves.

The NRLA says that the comments mean that whilst multi-millionaires owning and living in a single luxury penthouse would be covered by the government’s plans, landlords letting out more than one property for a pension would not be.

According to government data, 94 per cent of private landlords rent property as an individual, with 44 per cent becoming a landlord to contribute to their pension.

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle, says: “Michael Gove’s previous comments about ending the scandal of leaseholders paying to remove dangerous cladding now ring hollow.

“This is not about who does and does not have the means to pay. It is about fairness. No leaseholder, irrespective of how many properties they own, should be expected to foot the bill for dangerous and illegal cladding installed by someone else.

“The government needs to wake up to an injustice of its own making and make amends now.”

Conservative peer Lord Naseby has tabled an amendment to the Building Safety Bill to ensure that all leaseholders are treated equally, irrespective of how many properties they own.

In addition, a parliamentary motion tabled by Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley calls for buy-to-let landlords and owner-occupier leaseholders to be treated the same; it has secured cross-party support including from Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs.

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