An update on the 11 – 18 meter Cladding Remediation Fund

An update on the 11 – 18 meter Cladding Remediation Fund

On 10 January 2022 the Government announced an intention to provide a “fully funded plan of action including remediating unsafe cladding on 11 – 18m buildings”.

Since this announcement, the Building Safety Act 2022 and subsequent Regulations have been enacted which have completely changed the way in which cladding and non-cladding remedial costs are to be recovered and from whom. Despite this and a great deal of interest for more information from leaseholders, management companies and freeholders alike, there was a distinct lack of any update regarding this proposed 11 – 18 meter fund. This has now changed with the Government’s announcement on 30 November 2022 of the “Medium Rise Scheme” (“MRS”). A summary of the MRS is as follows:

1. At present the Government is only running a pilot of the MRS. This applies to a pre-selected number of buildings across England (namely 60 in number) where the developer “cannot be traced or held responsible – for instance because they have gone out of business”;

2. The full MRS will come into force during 2023, although the exact date, eligibility criteria and application process has yet to be announced. Nevertheless:
a. The announcement does say that once the pilot has concluded, the Responsible Person (i.e. the entity with the contractual obligation to undertake remedial works) can make an application to the MRS;
b. The MRS appears to be targeted at buildings where there are unsafe external wall systems only. This means it will not apply to internal compartmentation issues within a building; and
c. As stated for the pilot, the MRS only covers costs where the Developer cannot be traced or held responsible;

3. The value of the MRS appears to be £3 billion; and

4. The Government is encouraging leaseholders and Responsible Person’s persons to complete this form to help determine how many buildings may be eligible for the scheme – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tell-us-about-life-safety-fire-risks-on-the-external-wall-system-of-your-building.

Whilst this is positive news, uncertainty remains. For example, would the MRS apply if a Developer can be traced but is unwilling to pay? Would the MRS apply if the Developer can be traced but the freeholder (who has the statutory obligation to pay for remedial costs but not to undertake the remedial works) cannot afford to do so and is unwilling or unable to bring proceedings against the non-associated Developer? Finally will any Government fund be made available for the equally as common internal compartmentation defects found within high rise buildings?

For a full summary of the MRS, the Government has provided the following leaseholder fact sheet – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/medium-rise-scheme-mrs-pilot-opening-leaseholder-factsheet.

Colman Coyle has and continues to act for and advise leaseholders, management companies, freeholders and developers in respect of cladding and other fire safety defects.

Ross Wilson

Ross Wilson

Senior Associate

Fire safety issue in residential blocks of flats

Fire safety issue in residential blocks of flats

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Howard Colman and Ross Wilson of Colman Coyle are pleased to have acted for a large group of private flat owners and a housing charity in a claim in respect of various fire safety construction issues relating to two blocks of flats in North London.

The blocks were built by a major house builder, Bellway Homes, in or around 2011 and were sold with the benefit of NHBC insurance cover.

It became apparent that there were a number of problems with the construction, in particular compartmentation issues which posed a threat to the physical health and safety of the occupants and additionally meant that it was almost impossible for the owners to sell or remortgage their properties until the remedial works had been carried out.

Proceedings were commenced in the High Court against NHBC claiming the costs of the remedial work and damages.  NHBC joined Bellway into the proceedings.

The parties subsequently agreed to participate in a mediation which was held in London where they were able to reach an amicable settlement of the dispute.

Colman Coyle are currently instructed on a number of fire safety related matters. The law in this area is complex and subject to legislative and other changes.

If you are unfortunately affected by these sorts of issues, whether as freeholder, management company or lessee we will be happy to provide advice and assistance and you can contact Ross Wilson at ross.wilson@colmancoyle.com or Howard Colman at howard.colman@colmancoyle.com.

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 – What Landlords Need To Know

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 – What Landlords Need To Know

Following widespread calls for change, the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 will finally come into force at the end of this month on 30 June 2022, the exception being retirement properties which will not be affected until 1 April 2023.

The Act will limit ground rent in most new long residential leases to one peppercorn per annum, effectively abolishing rental income returns available to landlords and developers.

Whilst there have been concerns about escalating ground rent provisions in existing leases, the Act will not have retrospective effect. Should an existing lease be surrendered and re-granted however, it may very well be caught by the provisions of the Act.

The Act will apply to ‘regulated leases’, which means long leases granted for a term of more than 21 years of a single dwelling in exchange for a premium, on or after 30 June 2022.

There are exceptions and the Act will not apply if a lease is granted after 30 June 2022 pursuant to a prior agreement. Thus, if contracts have exchanged before 30 June 2022 and the grant of a new lease takes place after 30 June 2022, the lease will not fall within the scope of the Act and a ground rent above a peppercorn may be charged. If exchange and completion take place after 30 June 2022 however, the Act applies in full and only a peppercorn ground rent is chargeable.

Business leases, statutory lease extensions of houses and flats, community housing leases, and home finance plan leases are excluded.

Where a voluntary lease extension of a house or a flat is granted after 30 June 2022, the ground rent specified in the existing lease will continue to be payable for the remainder of the original term of the lease and a peppercorn rent will then be payable for the extended term.

There are serious sanctions for non-compliance with the Act and Landlords may face fines ranging from £500 to £30,000 per lease.

The abolishment of ground rents in new leases is part of a package of lease reforms which the Government intends to implement, including substantial changes to the calculation of premiums and procedures for lease extensions and collective enfranchisement. 

Simon Tennant

Sayrha Elahi

Senior Associate Solicitor

Dilek Kamalak invited to discuss with potential investors the legal aspects of buying a home in England

Dilek Kamalak invited to discuss with potential investors the legal aspects of buying a home in England

Dilek Kamalak, a Partner in Colman Coyle, is delighted to be a guest speaker to discuss the legal aspects of the home buying process in England.

The event will include potential investors looking to purchase property in the London market.

The event will also include guest speakers from Piccadilly Estates and Barratt London. It will take place at Barratt High Street Quarter Development in Hounslow on Wednesday 18 May 2022 from 17:45pm (BST).

Please read the leaflet below for a detailed overview. There are limited spaces available and therefore if you wish to attend, please email Piccadilly Estates on info@piccadillyestates.co.uk.

Colman Coyle act for a significant number of foreign investors in the UK. If you have any questions on how we can assist, please contact Dilek Kamalak on +44 (0)20 7354 3000.

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Are you looking for a Legal Secretary role in Property? We are recruiting!

Are you looking for a Legal Secretary role in Property? We are recruiting!

Colman Coyle is an established and highly regarded solicitors practice based close to the City of London in a thriving and cosmopolitan area of Upper Street, Islington.

The firm provides a wide range of legal advice and assistance primarily to commercial and high net worth national and international clients.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Legal Secretary to provide support to the property department. The ideal candidate will have between 2-5 years of residential and commercial property legal experience.

The role requires accurate and fast typing; you will have a typing speed of 65+ with knowledge of using a digital dictation system.

You will be responsible for assisting our solicitors in a variety of tasks including:

  • Opening new matters on our case management system and dealing with AML & KYC requirements;
  • Preparing correspondence and documents through digital dictation and word processing, organising, and filing documents;
  • Carrying out conveyancing searches;
  • Preparing and submitting applications to the Land Registry and dealing with post completion matters;
  • Preparing financial statements and invoices;
  • Diary management;
  • General administration.

Experience in a legal environment is essential.

In order to succeed in the role, the candidate must work well as part of a team as well as being able to use their own initiative. The role will require the individual to possess excellent communication and organisational skills, as well as being able to multi-task and prioritise work, think proactively and be flexible.

In return, you will receive a competitive salary and the opportunity to develop your own professional skills in a fast-paced yet friendly environment.

This is an immediate vacancy and at this stage applications are being requested by 9th May 2022 with interviews to follow thereafter. Any entries after this date will not be considered.

Position: Property Legal Secretary
Firm: Colman Coyle
Location: Islington, London N1
Salary: Competitive

Please apply via the LinkedIn portal or in writing to us with your CV addressed to Simon Tennant at vacancies@colmancoyle.com.

No application via agencies, please.

Dilek Kamalak invited by Unique London Consultancy to discuss the legal aspects of buying a property in the UK

Dilek Kamalak invited by Unique London Consultancy to discuss the legal aspects of buying a property in the UK

Dilek Kamalak, a Partner in Colman Coyle, is delighted to be invited by Unique London Consultancy to discuss the legal aspects of buying a property in the UK.

The webinar, which is aimed at investors in Turkey, will take place virtually on Thursday 21 April 2022 at 10:30am (BST).

The event will be a good opportunity for attendees to learn more about the property market in London and provide a brief overview of the buying process. The webinar will also include other guest speakers including Asel Talipova, the international sales manager of Barratt London and Volkan Ozcelik a mortgage adviser at 1st Call 4 Mortgages (UK) Limited.

Please click here to register for the webinar: https://bit.ly/3jyMNxc

Colman Coyle act for a significant number of foreign investors in the UK. If you have any questions on how we can assist, please contact Dilek Kamalak on +44 (0)207 354 3000.

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