Six major UK banks to start lending on clad apartments | Banking

Six of the UK’s biggest banks will start lending on clad mid-rise and high-rise apartments from January, which could help thousands of people stuck in properties they have been unable to sell or re-mortgage .

Lenders including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest and Santander have said they will consider new mortgage applications from January 9, after receiving long-awaited advice from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) on how to value the affected properties.

The changes should benefit mortgage prisoners and potential buyers of apartments affected by the coating in buildings over 11 meters high, although they will still have to prove that the hazardous materials will either be removed by developers or covered by tenant protections or a specific government. scheme.

Banking lobby group UK Finance said in a statement that the announcement was an “important step in enabling lending to resume”.

Mortgage lenders withdrew from lending against clad flats following the Grenfell Tower disaster, which exposed costly safety issues in buildings across the country.

Banks said a lack of up-to-date guidance on valuations had so far limited their risk assessments and their ability to lend against affected apartments.

“Lenders have confirmed that this will help revive the property market by helping innocent buyers and tenants, who have been stuck for too long, to sell their homes,” Local Government and Building Safety Minister Lee said. Rowley.

“This is possible because of the protections for tenants in the Safe Buildings Act and our commitment to repairing buildings, whether through our own remediation programs or as a result of the engagement of promoters.”

Activists cautiously welcomed the decision. “It sounds positive and is a step in the right direction, but how it will be implemented on the ground remains to be seen,” said Giles Grover, co-head of the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign.

For example, he said property owners will worry about the stringency of assessments and how much of a property’s value might suffer because coating remains, regardless of plans to remove it. There were also questions about the cost of insuring the building, which has yet to be resolved.

Rics should monitor the impact of the new guidelines to ensure they are “proportionate, fit for purpose and help facilitate mortgage lending,” an industry statement explained.

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