Scheme to fix defects in apartments and duplexes
What is the planned scheme to fund fixing defects in apartments and duplexes?
Many apartments and duplexes built between 1991 and 2013 have serious defects. These include defects with fire safety, structural safety and water getting into the property.
A new scheme will provide funding to fix these defects. Fixing these defects is known as ‘remediation work’.
The Government is preparing legislation to bring the scheme into effect and it is intended that it will start in 2024.
In the meantime, an Interim Remediation Scheme has been launched.
Interim scheme to fix fire safety issues
On 11 December 2023, an Interim Remediation Scheme was launched. The interim scheme funds work to fix emergency fire safety issues in apartments and duplexes that were built between 1991 and 2013. It aims to ensure that there is an acceptable standard of fire safety in buildings before more comprehensive works are completed under the main scheme.
The Interim Remediation Scheme is administered by the Housing Agency. Your owners' management company applies to the Housing Agency for funding by completing the online application form. If the application qualifies for the interim scheme, the Housing Agency will email information to the OMC outlining the next steps. This should happen within 7 to 10 working days of the application. The Housing Agency has more information about the interim scheme including details of what work is covered by the scheme.
How will the planned scheme work?
The Government has developed a proposal for the planned scheme.
In the proposal, the Housing Agency will administer the scheme and provide information and advice to owners' management companies (OMCs) and homeowners about it.
Who will get the funding under the planned scheme?
Owners’ management companies (OMCs) will receive funding to carry out the remediation work (repair work). The whole building will be considered at the same time for remediation work. This means common areas and individual apartments will be assessed together. The amount of funding provided will depend on the defects to be fixed.
What properties will qualify for the planned scheme?
Apartments and duplexes built between 1991 and 2013 will qualify for the scheme. The scheme will cover work to fix:
- Fire safety defects
- Structural safety defects
- Defects caused by water getting into a property
The scheme only applies if the defects were caused by defective design, workmanship or materials that breached the Building Regulations which applied when the property was built.
The scheme will not cover defects that came about because:
- The building was not adequately maintained
- Sinking funds did not plan funding to replace building and safety systems when they expired
- Later building work was not managed correctly and this led to defects
What if I am beginning work on my property or have already fixed issues?
Work to fix fire safety defects
On 11 December 2023, the Interim Remediation Scheme was launched to fix emergency fire safety issues. Your owner’s management company applies for funding to fix fire safety defects under this scheme.
Before the interim scheme was launched it was agreed that remediation work that began after 17 January 2023 to fix fire safety defects in these apartments and duplexes would be included in the main scheme. This applies as long as the work meets certain conditions and you agree on the remedial work with the local authority fire services in advance.
This is being done to ensure that fire safety fixes are not postponed while waiting for the scheme to begin.
Other work already begun or completed
A legacy defects scheme is planned to cover the cost of remediation work that has already been completed. The detail of this scheme is not available yet.
Who do I contact about defects in my apartment or duplex?
You should contact the owners management company (OMC) for your apartment or duplex, if you think your property has a defect. The OMC should get someone to inspect the issue so it can be fixed.
If it is an emergency fire safety issue, the OMC can apply for funding to get it fixed under the Interim Remediation Scheme. Then, when the main scheme is operational, the OMC will get funding through the scheme to do all the other necessary remediation works to your building. The Housing Agency will also provide information and advice about the planned scheme once it begins.
Further information and contacts
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has developed an FAQ about the proposed scheme. The Housing Agency also has information about the proposed scheme on their website.