Principle Estate Management welcomes government’s £30 million fire alarm fund

The government’s latest support for owners and leaseholders of high rise apartment buildings has been welcomed by experts at Birmingham-based Principle Estate Management.

 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government is to provide a £30 million fund to encourage and incentivise the installation of fire alarms in high rise buildings that are awaiting remedial work on external cladding which has come under the spotlight following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

 

Joe Jobson, a director of Principle Estate Management, said: “This is another step along the road to finding a long term solution to the issues that have been highlighted in a number of high rise apartment blocks.”

 

His comments follow an additional announcement that the government has extended the deadlines for applications and start of work under the £1 billion Building Safety Fund that was announced in the Budget in March 2020.

The deadline for applications by those buildings already registered with the fund has been extended by six months to June 30 2021, from 31 December 2020, and to qualify for funding all projects must now start by 30 September 2021, extended from 31 March 2021.

 

Mr Jobson said: “We warned back in November that the deadlines to access this fund were far too tight for flat owners to benefit because of the complexity involved.”

 

A national shortage of qualified surveyors has made it impossible for surveys to be done quickly, leaving thousands of flat owners in limbo, unable to sell or remortgage their properties.

 

Mr Jobson added: “We are pleased that Housing Minister Robert Jenrick has listened to sensible calls from the industry and made these important changes where required.

 

“We also welcome the £30 million fund for fire alarms as this will help in a number of apartment blocks where occupiers have had to pay for highly expensive Walking Watch services.”

 

Principle Estate Management is the UK’s fastest growing estate management company. Launched just three years ago by Brett Williams, a past chairman of the Association of Residential Managing Agents, it now has 30 staff looking after a portfolio approaching 6,500 units in around 250 developments across the UK.