Michael Gove this week revealed his latest plan to unlock a part of the housing market frozen due to concerns over fire safety. But we may be waiting for some time to see real change from lenders
“It’s distressing. We are first-time homeowners and to be saddled with unsellable and therefore worthless properties is very upsetting,” Ola Zaid told the BBC this week.
Nearly five years on from the blaze at Grenfell Tower that killed 72 people, the issues around the safety of tower blocks – including which blocks need fixing and who should pay – continue to rumble on.
Thousands of homeowners, like Ms Zaid, remain effectively trapped in a position where they cannot get their flats valued and therefore sold or mortgaged.
Michael Gove this week announced the long-awaited withdrawal of the government’s Consolidated Advice Note (CAN). This was the driving force behind lenders requiring external wall fire assessments – recorded through External Wall Systems (EWS1) forms – on medium-rise blocks of flats before issuing mortgages. It meant many occupiers were unable to sell.
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