Freeholder Building Safety Issues

Freeholder To Fix Serious Building Safety Issues

The government has won a landmark legal challenge against a freeholder forcing it to fix serious building safety issues in a Stevenage block called Vista Tower. 

Legal action was launched by the government against Grey GR in October 2022 following what it calls “unacceptable delays in fixing multiple serious fire safety issues, first identified in the building in 2019.” 

Grey GR is ultimately owned by Railpen, a scheme that manages £34 billion in assets.

Following a court trial in March, the court has now decided in favour of the government and will issue a Remediation Order imposing a legally binding requirement on freeholder Grey GR to fix building safety issues within a mandated timeframe. 

Housing Secretary Michael Gove says: “Leaseholders have lived with uncertainty for far too long while Grey GR delayed essential works to make homes safe. This decision is a victory for leaseholders in Vista Tower and across the country.

“It is hugely disappointing that Railpen – the ultimate owner of Grey GR and who manage £34 billion in ‘assets’ – has kept leaseholders in limbo in this way. Railway workers with their pensions invested in this fund, as well as innocent leaseholders, deserve better.

“This court case should serve as a warning to all building owners. If you fail to fix your unsafe buildings and ensure the safety of residents, we will see you in court. We will not stop until we secure justice for leaseholders.” 

The government statement on the case cites Sophie Bichener, a leaseholder in Vista Tower, who says: “I am very pleased to see this remediation order has been made. This gives leaseholders the reassurance we deserve and is the closest we have been to regaining our freedom after what has been an extremely difficult few years.”

The Vista Tower case was the first legal action brought by the government under new powers introduced through the Building Safety Act 2022.

Following commencement of legal action, Grey started work on Vista Tower in January 2024. The Remediation Order will provide an exact date by which the work must be completed or Grey could face sanction by the Court.

The government is also seeking remediation orders on a further five Grey GR buildings that have or will be going to trial over the next year. This includes The Chocolate Box in Bournemouth where, as a result of government legal action, Grey has now started remediation works.

The government has also already secured four remediation orders against freeholder Wallace Estates, benefitting approximately 400 leaseholders that had faced delays to remediation.

Councils, fire and rescue services and the Building Safety Regulator all have powers under the Building Safety Act to take enforcement action against building owners not complying with their obligations and discharging their responsibilities to leaseholders.

Blog Post from Letting Agent Today

See details of our CHG Guaranteed Rent Scheme here

If you have any comments, please email the author of this article and click on the link above

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Registered Office: Woodgate Studios, 2-8 Games Road, Cockfosters, Hertfordshire, EN4 9HN | Registered in England and Wales | Registered Company No. 3961047 | VAT Registration No. 752 6015 48


Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :
Google Rating
Based on 109 reviews