Many landlords still excluded from new Building Safety Law

The Building Safety Bill has become law – and while it does offer help to leaseholder landlords with one or two investment properties, those with larger portfolios remain excluded.Under the new legislation, owners of up to three properties in the UK will qualify for the protections. This includes all properties and not just those requiring remediation – so a landlord’s personal home plus two let properties, for example.

A detailed briefing from the National Residential Landlords Association says that for non-cladding remediation, developers and building owners will be expected to cover these costs where possible. Building owners will be legally required to prove there are no other sources for funding before passing any costs onto leaseholders.

Building owners will not be able to pass costs onto qualifying leaseholders where they are, or are linked to, the developer or where they have sufficient net wealth.In the remaining cases, the cost of remediation of non-cladding defects and interim measures, such as waking watches, will be shared between the building owner and leaseholders.

Qualifying leaseholders will be protected by a cap:

– Outside London: no cost for properties valued less than £175,000; £10,000 cap for properties valued £175k-£1m;

– Within London: no cost for properties valued less than £325,000; £15,000 cap for properties valued £325k-£1m;

– Across England: £50,000 cap for properties valued £1m-£2m; £100,000 cap for properties valued over £2m.

The costs will be spread over 10 years, and any payments for non-cladding defects or interim measures made in the last five years will count towards the cost cap. The building owner will be responsible for any costs above the cap.

The NRLA’s analysis of the legislation shows that there will be no protections for leaseholders in buildings less than 11 metres high, classified by government as having “no systematic fire risk”.

Buildings over 18 metres high continue to be covered by the Building Safety Fund.

The full measures can be seen here.

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