Devastated young Edinburgh couple forced to take flat off market after report reveals cladding makes it 'unsellable'

The property was removed from the market.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 7:06 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 12:31 pm

A young couple have been forced to take their property off the market after a home report revealed cladding used in its construction made it unsellable.

Devastated first-time-buyers Emel and Kenneth were dealt a double blow when they were told they could not sell or remortgage their home due to new guidelines from mortgage lenders that have come into force in the wake of the Grenfell disaster.

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Devastated young Edinburgh couple forced to take flat off market after report reveals cladding makes it 'unsellable'

The 24-year-olds – who asked for their full names not to be revealed – moved into their second-floor property on Colonsay Road, Granton in April 2018.

Planning to relocate to East Lothian, they put their flat on the market with the estate agent Mov8.

But the couple were told that their property was unsellable due to lack of certification over the cladding and the property was removed from the market.

Emel said: “They told us that because of new rules about cladding the flat was unsellable. We were devastated and asked the estate agent how we could move forward but we were told that we would have to take the property off the market as there was no chance of selling to anyone except a cash buyer which would be very unlikely.

“We were planning to sell our flat, get married and move into our forever home but now we are stuck in the flat and there seems to be no way out. We can’t even get the flat remortgaged.”

Emel contacted the building’s managers, Charles White, to tell them about the issue but was surprised to learn they were already aware of the problem.

She said: “The managers of the building told me that they knew another couple in the building who were trying to sell but had had the same problem.

“It is frustrating that we were not told about the issue until we had already spent the money putting the property on the market.”

Robert Carroll, managing director at Mov8 Real Estate said: “The situation with blocks of flats that contain any form of exterior cladding is a complicated one at the moment.

“The problem mainly affects properties where the floor level of the top floor is over 18 metres from the ground.

“It would not be true to say that a flat with external cladding is unsellable. The situation with regard to purchasers of properties where the floor level of the top floor is over 18 metres from the ground being able to obtain a mortgage is currently very challenging.

“Lenders are literally changing their lending policy with regards to properties that contain external cladding on an almost daily basis. This means that fewer property buyers are in a position to purchase a property like this than in the recent past. This may of course affect saleability or the final sale price.

“A form of certification, the EWS1 Form, has been agreed between chartered surveyors, lenders and other industry professionals that may resolve this issue in the longer term.

“However, it is very early days and all major UK mortgage lenders are still formulating internal policies about how and whether to accept this form of certification. We expect clarification of most of these issues in the coming weeks.”

Property managers Charles White gave no comment.

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