In 2017 a fire broke out at the Grenfell Tower block of flats in North Kensington, South London. The fire not only destroyed the high rise block of flats, but also claimed the lives of 72 people.
The fire was a combination of an electrical fault with a resident’s fridge, coupled with highly flammable cladding used on the building.
The government’s subsequent investigation and White Paper, stated cladding on all high rise blocks of flats had to be reviewed, and changed if needed.
What this meant for leaseholders and owners of these flats was that they had to pay to upgrade and change the cladding on their buildings. This is not a cheap thing to do. In addition, if you were trying to sell your flat, no one would buy it due to the fact the cladding would need to be changed.
Also, some communities paid for services to walk around and patrol the high rise, checking for smoke and fires to alarm the residents if need be.
Now the government has changed the advice and withdrawn this advice for low rise blocks of flats.
The advice given after Grenfell was all blocks regardless of height were to have their cladding checked. Prior to that, only buildings over 18 meters had to be checked.
What this change does is allow many leaseholders who were considering selling their properties, to be able to do this. It also saves them the huge expense of replacing the cladding on their blocks.
When you buy a property, it is usually expected to appreciate in value, increase its value. When properties lose value, and you owe on a mortgage more than the value of a property, while that loss is not realised until you sell the property, it is very disheartening, and frustrating.
Some people at that point simply walk away from their home, allowing it to be repossessed, which has a huge affect on their credit. But again, the loss of money is not realised until you try to sell the property.