The Vista Tower owners were given a deadline to begin corrective action or face legal consequences.
The Act is the next stage in employing new powers to ensure building safety measures.
The Department for Levelling Up has taken the initial step in legal action against Grey GR, which is ultimately owned by RailPen, in order to safeguard inhabitants and ensure adequate building safety.
Grey GR Limited Partnership, the freeholder of Vista Tower, a fifteen-story skyscraper block in Stevenage, has been given 21 days to agree to repairing the tower’s fire safety flaws or face legal action.
This action, which comes after more than 100 tower residents experienced delays for more than two years, confirms the government’s commitment to ensuring that property owners, landlords, and developers comply with their legal obligations and safeguard renters in their own homes.
The newly established Recovery Strategy Unit, which was formed to track down and prosecute companies that persistently refuse to fix buildings in collaboration with other enforcement authorities, has already taken action against the freeholder. The freeholder is one of the unit’s first targets.
“The lives of over 100 people living at Vista Tower have been put on hold for over two years while they wait for Grey GR to remove dangerous cladding,” said Secretary of State Simon Clarke.
“This legal action should serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the industry’s outliers, big and small.” Step up, follow your friends, and secure the buildings you control, or you will face legal consequences.”
“We applaud the Government for assisting us, and leaseholders across the country – Vista Tower tenants simply want to live in safe and secure houses,” said Sophie Bichener, a Vista Tower leaseholder.
This lawsuit is a step in the right way for the innocent leaseholders who continue to beg their building owners to accept responsibility.
“Now that the leaseholder safeguards are in effect, it should serve as a signal to those entities who are still playing games and trying to avoid their legal commitments.”
Despite the fact that the building’s dangerous cladding was discovered over two years ago, Vista Tower leaseholders have been sent fees and are unable to sell.
While the building was registered with the Building Safety Fund in 2020, the funding agreement has yet to be finalized, so the government has yet to release any funds.
At least 23 additional buildings registered with the Building Safety Fund have been stalled owing to unwarranted delays. The agency is thoroughly evaluating these situations and contemplating further steps.
The Secretary of State will also take into account applying for a Remediation Contribution Order against other organizations connected to Grey GR, such as Railways Pension Trustee Company Limited (RailPen) and Railtrust Holdings Limited (Railtrust), ordering them to contribute money to the remediation costs.
Leaseholders can now apply for a remedial order and are urged to do so if the owner of their building fails to meet their obligations.