Homeowners to get 15 years to sue for poor building work

Jake Carter

July 5, 2021

Homeowners in England and Wales will get 15 years to sue regarding poor quality building work in light of the cladding crisis, the BBC has reported.

As a result, this would up the current six year period in which legal action can be brought against housing developers.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the change would “put new cards in the hands of the leaseholders.”

When asked about buildings that are more than 15 years old, Jenrick said “most of the cladded buildings were built in the period from 2000 to 2017.”

He went on to say that the “lion’s share that are facing this particular issue will now be helped by this unusual change in the law.”

The change will be introduced as part of the Building Safety Bill, which is set to be published on Monday.

The government says the change would be applied retrospectively for new-builds.

Jonathan Frankel, litigation partner at Cavendish Legal Group, said: “Extending the limitation period from six years to 15 years will be beneficial for some leaseholders, particularly those who feel they are able to challenge the landlord.

“However, it’s not necessarily the case that it would ‘put new cards in the hands of the leaseholder’ as Robert Jenrick says.

“It simply delays the period of limitation to allow them to bring legal challenges.

“As such, issues of representation and funding for any legal action and subsequent repairs will continue to be the major obstacle for most leaseholders.

“Politically this feels like the government is simply kicking the can down the road which will actually prolong the pain for leaseholders further.

“In my view there is no benefit to extending the limitation period without helping leaseholders fund potential legal actions. That’s the change we want to see.

“But for those who will seek legal action against building firms, it’s imperative that they have expert advice on their side.

“At CLG we have a specialist property litigation department for that reason. We can advise leaseholders in respect of what options they have and what financial recovery they could benefit from if legal action is pursued.”

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