Government asks lenders to relax subletting rules for coating victims

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The Ministry of Leveling, Housing and Communities has written to mortgage lenders asking them to relax their rules and sublet fees for co-owners affected by the siding crisis.

Currently, homes built with government grants under the Affordable Housing program only allow co-owners to sublet in “exceptional” circumstances.

Designed to prevent homes built with public funds from being used for commercial purposes, the government now wants to change the rules to make issues of building safety – that is, siding – an exceptional circumstance.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher told lenders in a letter released yesterday (January 12): are doing everything to approve their sublet requests.

To sublet their home, co-owners must obtain authorization from their mortgage lender.

Pincher therefore “strongly encouraged[d]“Lenders to extend the period during which they can rent their property before switching to a rental mortgage, also known as the ‘consent to rent’ period.

“This will save shared homeowners money that they would otherwise have had to pay to convert their mortgage,” the minister said.

In his letter, Pincher also asked lenders to waive the 1% annual premium for shared owners who choose to sublet during their consent to lease period.

He went on to recognize that lenders will need to assess their organizational risk profiles and review their responsibilities under competition law, but ultimately decided that companies should do “everything possible” to approve sublease requests from companies. shared owners.

This week, Secretary of State Michael Gove wrote to developers asking them to shell out £ 4 billion by early March for remediation work on the cladding of buildings 11-18 meters tall.

In his letter, Gove told developers he was “ready to take whatever steps are necessary to make this happen”, going so far as to threaten a “solution in law”.

Pincher echoed Gove’s position on the siding crisis in his letter, clarifying the government’s position as follows: “We need to protect ordinary tenants and ensure that no tenant living in their own apartment will pay a dime to fix it. dangerous siding. “

The siding crisis, a product of government reforms following the deadly Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, has created a around 2 million mortgage prisoners who are unable to sell their homes because lenders refuse to lend to those who wish to purchase their apartments due to concerns about the siding.

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