Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions our leaseholders might have about costs and funding.
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 from government, it has been unclear as to how any work would be funded. We are now in a clearer position in our approach to funding the work required and we apologise for any confusion this may have caused.
Will I have to pay for the work?
At the moment, we can't confirm if there are any costs customers may need to contribute or what those costs may be. 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 (where 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 NHF or NHBC guarantees (where applicable)
- Sinking fund – it may be an option to use a buildings’ sinking fund where available
We understand this is an area of concern for our customers and so it is a top priority for us. We want to avoid passing costs onto leaseholders and will only do this as a last resort.
When will I know if I need to pay anything?
Once we have explored all the funding options open to us, we will be in a better position to know how much the costs will be 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 applied for the building safety fund for your property, this doesn’t guarantee we will receive funding.
The government have stated we will only be eligible for funding if we meet strict requirements, including starting work on site, before the end of June 2021. Due to the number of buildings affected, the shortage of fire safety experts and contractors, and the fact that it can take six months to receive a fire safety report, it is not possible to meet these deadlines on all our buildings.
The government have allocated £1.6billion to the fund, but there are more applications than funds available and there are no guarantees we will be successful in our applications.
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 high. 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 we can for buildings over 18 metres high, however will not be able to apply for the fund for all these buildings. The government have stated we will only be eligible for funding if we meet strict requirements, including starting work on site, before the end of June 2021. Due to the number of buildings affected, the shortage of fire safety experts and contractors, and the fact that it can take six months to receive a fire safety report, it is not possible to meet these deadlines on all our buildings.
We understand this may be frustrating for our customers but we are subject to the restrictions of the Building Safety Fund and 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.
Why can’t the government pay for the work?
The government has provided £1.6billion in funding to support repairs to cladding, but there are more applications for funding than there are funds available. Additionally the building safety fund is only available for buildings that are over 18 metres high. 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 450 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 residents 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 understand this is an area of concern for our customers and we want to avoid passing costs onto leaseholders and will only do so as a last resort.
Why isn’t the cost of repairs 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. We have a sinking fund for less common services such as lift replacements or window replacements.
The issue with building cladding has been unprecedented and we have not previously had to account for the significant additional costs of potential work required for these repairs in service charges or sinking funds.
Can any cost 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?
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.
I have a neighbour in my development who is with a different housing association and is being charged less or not at all for repairs. 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. The government has provided £1.6billion in funding to support repairs to cladding, but there are more applications for funding than there are funds available.
- 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.