Leaseholders call for ‘Toasty’ flats this winter

Much legislation on energy efficiency and certainly the legislation that provides for grants currently exclude many of those people living in leasehold flats because the grants are aimed at individuals that purchase in their own names rather than
through communal arrangements. It is theref ore not practical for the leasehold owner of a flat to take most of the steps that a house owner can take to improve the energy efficiency of his or her home. Measures such as loft insulation and cavity wall insulation obviously have to be taken up for the block as a whole rather than each individual.

Chairman of the FPRA, Bob Smytherman said:

"Long leases of purpose built flats nearly always provide for works to the exterior, and on the internal common parts, to be funded by a service charge payable by all leaseholders. For very good reasons, most leases provide for service charges to be levied for repair and maintenance of existing facilities only and make no provision for “improvements” such as cavity wall or loft insulation."

"The typical flat owner is likely to find that he is not able to install loft insulation or cavity wall insulation because the roof space and the cavities in the external walls belong to the ground landlord, and not to him or her."

"If the new coalition government is to succeed in reducing CO2 emissions from our homes we believe there needs to be serious consideration given to the situation for long leasehold flats and provide real joined up Government working with the
Department of Communities and Local Government (Leasehold Reform Branch) and with a few simple changes to leasehold legislation we can make existing blocks of flats as energy efficient as those flats built today."

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