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Scottish government to offer homeowners with cladding free safety assessments

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  • 19/03/2021
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Scottish government to offer homeowners with cladding free safety assessments
Homeowners in Scotland living in flats with external cladding will be offered free safety assessments to determine which properties need remediation, the Scottish government has proposed.

 

The decision follows a recommendation published today by the Ministerial Working Group on Mortgage Lending and Cladding. 

The Scottish government said it accepted all suggestions, including making information on residential buildings with cladding public. The government will also be investing the £97.1m funding received by the UK government to address cladding problems. 

All buildings within the scope of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) updated guidance will be eligible for a free inspection through the soon to be launched Single Building Assessment programme. 

The assessment will be undertaken on the whole building and will determine how much funding will be needed to correct the property if unsafe materials are found. 

Assessments are expected to begin in June with remediation funding confirmed in August. 

Scottish housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “This is an important milestone for people who are living in buildings with cladding. I have heard personally from homeowners who have had to change their life plans or are living with real concern about safety – no one wants that uncertainty and anxiety to continue. 

“By funding the Single Building Assessments we will have a clear picture of the scale of the issue. This will enable us to provide support for the remediation work required – I do not want people left facing unfair remediation costs. This approach will also save homeowners hundreds of pounds that they may otherwise have faced through paying for an EWS1. 

He added: “We cannot guarantee that there will be enough public funds to support all the work that is needed, and other parties such as developers must continue to play their part where construction is not as it should have been.  

We have not yet been given clarity about how much or when we will receive the further funding promised from the UK government and we continue to urgently press for this. When we do receive this, we will commit to ensuring it goes towards this major programme of work.” 

Paul Broadhead, head of mortgage and housing policy at the Building Society Association, said: “The action announced by the Scottish government is to be welcomed as a positive step forward. This announcement should give flat owners and occupants in Scotland hope that the sales market can be restored.  

We are committed to working with the Scottish government to support the implementation of the recommendations to restore confidence to all flat owners in Scotland. 

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