The results of a survey of residents living in buildings which are affected by potentially dangerous cladding has shown property values have decreased while homeowners are faced with hiked up insurance premium costs.
The survey, run by Glasgow Kelvin SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart, covered known buildings in the Glasgow City Centre and West End areas which have potentially dangerous cladding.
Ms Stewart has had several meetings with Scottish Government ministers and officials to date, including a recent meeting at the Scottish Parliament with representatives of residents’ associations, where the Housing Minister Paul McLennan MSP was able to outline what action the Scottish Government was taking in working with developers to carry out remedial works where required as quickly as possible.
To gain a clearer picture of how the current situation is affecting residents and property owners, Ms Stewart has this summer hosted a special surgery on cladding for residents, which coincided with the residents’ survey.
Of those who responded to Ms Stewart’s survey:
- 93% were homeowners,
- More than half said they’d struggled to get a mortgage agreed for their property in the past five years,
- A quarter have been refused a mortgage,
- More than two-thirds said they’d had difficulty selling their property when they wanted to,
- Nearly a quarter said they’d been refused insurance (contents, buildings, car, etc)
- Two thirds said they have faced hiked up insurance premiums due to cladding.
Of those who have had their property valued in the past five years:
- 91.3% said their property has devalued (65% saying ‘substantially’, 26% saying ‘slightly’),
- Only 8.1 of respondents said their property had increased in line with what they expected.
Commenting on the survey results, Kaukab Stewart MSP said:
“These responses are alarming but sadly not surprising. With unaffordable insurance costs – as well as being faced with a general cost of living crisis – my constituents are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place when the safety of cladding on their building has meant they’ve struggled to sell when they’ve wanted or needed to, or would be forced to sell at a loss.
“The prospect of potentially dangerous cladding existing on a building you’re living in is a deeply concerning thought, and the safety of the people living in these properties has to be the number one priority. However, there are day-to-day impacts to the residents in these buildings – which range from living with additional fire safety measures, to extra and often unaffordable financial burdens.
“I have been in close contact with the Scottish Government on this matter, and I know this is a serious priority for the Housing Minister. I’m pleased the Scottish Government is now able to offer letters of comfort in some circumstances to help get mortgage agreements over the line as work continues to carry out necessary remedial works on these buildings.
“However, some homeowners remain deeply concerned that hiked insurance costs in these buildings are making it unaffordable to stay there. In addition, with a decrease in value for properties, some residents even worry they could find themselves in negative equity – having to find a financial arrangement for paying off what they borrowed for a property they no longer own. And that’s if they managed to sell.
“It’s clear the cost of insurance is having a real impact on people’s ability to afford to live in these developments. I am contacting each constituent individually who has told me they’ve had issues regarding this so I can find out more detail and determine what action can be taken.”
Ms Stewart has written to the Scottish Housing Minister, outlining the results of the survey for his and his officials’ information.