Advice to Leaseholders in High Rise Apartment Blocks

The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) is a trade body for firms which manage apartment buildings and which one of our Directors is a former Chairman.

ARMA produces many Guidance Notes for its Members and also Advice Notes for Leaseholders. In December 2018 the Government issued Advice Note 14 (AN14) concerning wall covering systems that do not incorporate Aluminium Composite Material (ACM). The emphasis was on combustible systems such as wood and High Pressure Laminate (HPL) installations. Although only an Advice Note, this document is causing issues in the sales and re-mortgage areas as some valuers are returning a £0 value on flats, thereby holding up sales. Please remember that by the valuer putting a £0 value doesn’t necessarily mean that a property is considered worthless, it is a technique used by valuers to place a hold on a valuation pending further information. Not all valuers and lenders are taking this approach and people trying to sell or re-mortgage would be advised to shop around at this time.

ARMA has been very active and vocal on the matter, taking the matter up with No. 10 and MHCLG. Recently a cross industry working group has been set up by RICS and the Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings Group is also engaged in discussions. We hope to have a way forward to unblock the valuations shortly, although it must be said at this point that there is no easy and obvious way forward.

ARMA has produced Advice to Leaseholders in High Rise Apartment Blocks