Views:

Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions our leaseholders might have about costs and funding.

Will I have to pay for the work?

At the moment, we are not able to confirm what costs customers may need to contribute, if any. Each development needs to be looked at on a case by case basis and all realistic funding options will be explored. Funding options include:

  • The building safety fund (if applicable and resource allows)
  • Latent defect compensation - any failures for the contractor to meet building regulations, or the work carried out was defective in some way
  • Any new home guarantees (if applicable)
  • Sinking fund – A sinking fund is a pot of money put aside to help pay for major work. It may be an option to use a buildings’ sinking fund if available.

We fully understand this is a key area of concern for our customers and is a top priority for us. We do not want to pass costs onto leaseholders and will only do this as a last resort.

When will I know if I am responsible for paying?

Once we have explored all the funding options open to us, we will be in a much better position to know how much the works will cost and where the money needs to come from.

You’ve applied for the building safety fund for my building. Does that mean I won’t have to pay?

If we have been able to apply for the Building Safety Fund for your property, this doesn’t guarantee we will receive the funding. Firstly, the government have stated that we will only be eligible for funding if we meet very tight timelines, including committing to dates for the works can start on site – this has to be before the end of June 2021. Due to the number of buildings affected nationally, the high demand of specialist fire safety experts and contractors who are required to complete the works, and the fact that it can take six months to receive the initial fire safety report, it is not possible to meet these deadlines for all our buildings. 

The government has recently increased the fund to £5billion. We are currently investigating what this means for our buildings over 18 metres. We will do our best to submit applications where possible, however there are no guarantees we will be successful.  

Why didn’t you apply for the building safety fund for my building?

The Building Safety Fund is only available for buildings over 18 metres. Any buildings under 18 metres are not eligible and we will need to look at other funding options.

We will apply for the Building Safety Fund where possible for our buildings that are over 18 metres, however we will not be able to apply for the fund for all of them. The government have stated that we will only be eligible for funding if we meet very tight timelines, including committing to dates for the works can start on site – this has to be before the end of June 2021. Due to the number of buildings affected nationally, the high demand of specialist fire safety experts and contractors who are required to complete the works, and the fact that it can take six months to receive the initial fire safety report, it is not possible to meet these deadlines for all our buildings.

We know this may be frustrating for customers but we are restricted by the constraints of the Building Safety Fund and the resources available. 
 

Is the amount I need to pay agreed, or could it change between now and when the work starts?

If we do need to pass any costs onto homeowners, we will provide an estimate of the costs before we begin work. Where possible we will factor in all the costs in the estimate, including any additional costs that may incur if the project runs over budget. At the end of the project, we will let you know what the final cost of works has been and if any additional costs are due.

I was told I wouldn’t have to pay anything. Why has this changed?

Due to the scale of the project and the changing information coming from government, there has been a lack of clarity around how any required works will be funded. We are now in a clearer position in our approach to funding of any works required and we apologise for any confusion this may have caused. 

The government has recently increased the amount available through the Building Safety Fund to £5billion. However, the fund is still only available to buildings over 18 metres in height. We will need to look at other ways to fund works on buildings that are under 18 meters high, including trying to recoup costs from the contractor.

Why can’t A2Dominion pay?

We have over 500 developments that need to be inspected and any repairs needed will cost a significant amount. We will pursue every reasonable option open to us to fund repairs and will only pass costs on to leaseholders as a last resort.

We can't guarantee that we can cover the full cost of repair work for leaseholders as we need to ensure that we can continue to maintain services for everyone who has a home with us, as well as build new homes.

Why should I have to pay for it when it's out of my control?

The issue with building cladding has been unprecedented for both customers and landlords. We will do our best to fund the work by exploring all options available to us.

The conditions of your lease state that you are responsible for any work needed on your building that isn’t included in your service charge. We want to avoid passing this cost onto leaseholders and will only do so as a last resort. 

Why isn’t the cost included in my service charge?

We send you an estimated service charge breakdown every February so that you can see what we expect services to cost in the coming year. This will include services such as cleaning, grounds maintenance and shared electricity. Where we are aware of any upcoming costs, we aim to include these within the annual service charges. Money for other services are held in the building’s sinking fund, including common repairs such as lift replacements and window replacements. 

The issue with building cladding has been unprecedented and we have not previously had to account for the significant additional costs of remediation works required for around 500 buildings in service charges or sinking funds.

Can any costs be taken from the sinking fund?

Many of our buildings have sinking funds - this is a fund contributed to by leaseholders and kept in case major repairs. We will consider on a case by case basis if funds from a sinking fund may be used to pay towards any necessary repairs.

I cannot afford to pay for costs upfront. If I need to pay, how will you recover the cost from me? How can A2Dominion help?

We understand the costs involved will be an area of concern for our customers. We want to avoid passing costs onto leaseholders and will only do so as a last resort. In the event that we do have to pass on any costs to leaseholders, we will speak to each household affected individually and work with them to agree a payment plan based on their circumstances.

My neighbour in my development who is with a different housing association is being charged less or not at all. Why?

There are a number of reasons why this might be the case:

  • Every housing association is different. It may be that their provider only has a small number of affected buildings, so they are in a different position financially
  • The building they live in may be above 18 metres so they are eligible to apply for the building safety fund
  • Their housing association may have been successful in a building safety fund application and A2Dominion weren’t
  • Building repair costs are generally calculated on a case-by-case basis. It may be that your neighbour's building needs less work and therefore will cost less to repair
  • The issues in your neighbour's building may be covered by their buildings insurance or warranty provider

Will recent changes to the building safety fund affect what I pay?

In February 2021, the government made an announcement regarding funding for cladding removal on tall buildings. Read our statement on the government's announcement.

We fully appreciate this is a challenging and unprecedented situation for everyone involved and we do not underestimate the impact this is having on our customers living in affected buildings. We are working as part of the G15 group of housing associations and the National Housing Federation to explore all the options for how this crisis can be managed. We will share further updates on what the announcement means for A2Dominion and our customers when the details become clearer.


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