David’s Shopping Center Apartments were built as part of the area’s 2007/2008 retail development – but now owner Chris White is trying to sell his property but due to its ESW1 rating it’s ‘impossible’
A man is outraged after his apartment was found to be “impossible to sell”.
The St David’s Shopping Center Apartments in Cardiff were built as part of the District’s 2007/2008 retail development.
Anyone might think that an apartment in this location would be too expensive, but an apartment owner trying to sell his property says it’s “impossible to sell.”
Chris White, who has lived in one of the apartments since 2013, recently put his flat up for sale for £175,000, Wells Online reports.
After the apartment was put on the market, he said he was offered a Building External Wall System Fire Audit Certificate – or otherwise known as EWS1.
This means that a qualified person assesses the integrity of the external wall insulation – if it is in Class A, the material is non-combustible and if it is Class B then combustible is present.
Rob Brown / Walesonline)
The building’s certification shows a B2 rating because the inspectors found that an “adequate safety standard” had not been achieved in the building’s exterior wall system.
This means that combustible materials are present and remedial work is required.
As a result of this classification, lenders will facilitate lending only when there is a “cost and financing treatment plan with specific dates for commencement and completion of all specified/required work”.
This means that his apartment is virtually “unsellable”, Chris says.
The construction worker says the situation he has had to deal with is “unbelievable”.
He says he has been in battle with Landsec, which owns the building, since February, demanding that it clarify the building’s EWS1 certification and any work planned to meet the requirements.
Amid changing government standards, Landsec has now carried out another evaluation of the exterior wall system – but has not yet shared its findings with tenants.
Landsec apologizes to Chris and others, but also said there are no life safety concerns throughout the entire apartment building.
He said, “It’s unbelievable that this is happening here.
“Here we are above the busiest mall in Wales. If we’re somewhere far from the city, that might not be so great.
“But it’s incredible when it’s above a major shopping center like St Davids, where thousands of people go every week.
“I couldn’t believe it when I found out about the B2 rating, it’s really awful. I’m not an expert on these things, but when I was told, I did some research and realized that with this rating, I was less likely to get a mortgage.
“I want to sell this apartment, but instead, I’m told it’s basically worthless.”
He said the lack of action to try to solve the problem was “appalling”.
Chris added: “Landsec does nothing in my opinion. It’s not just an issue that affects me either.
“It goes for everything that sat above 2 for St David’s, and that’s a massive amount of property because, for one building, that’s just huge.”
Despite Landsec’s assurances that there were no safety risks for residents, Chris couldn’t help but be alarmed by the initial survey results that an “appropriate level of security” had not been achieved at the time of the inspection.
“You’ve seen how many people have died in Greenville, people want assurances that this building is safe,” he said.
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A Landsec spokesperson told The Mirror: “The safety and well-being of our residents is our primary concern and we have always prioritized this in all of our operations. We have worked hard to see where we can go further demonstrating the safety performance of our buildings so that our residents can be confident in the building and their homes, and we continue In working hard and fast to make further progress in obtaining the appropriate certifications and confirmations.
“We have been in regular contact with our residents through our designated agents to ensure they are informed of our investigations at The Hayes, which have been numerous and detailed. These investigations include comprehensive fire risk assessments, which have consistently confirmed that there are no life safety concerns at The Hayes, which is Conclusion Approved by independent fire safety engineers.
“It is important to note that the EWS1 process is in place to support the financial industry in making a judgment on whether to lend against a particular property – it does not look at the fire safety of an entire building as does a comprehensive risk assessment. We also work closely with the building’s original contractor to identify any surveys or additional repair work that may (or may not) be required in light of the Government’s new Code of Practice.We have always strived to promote and support the highest standards of building safety across the industry, and we are among the first companies of its kind to actively engage government in building a safety pledge.
“We know this has been a difficult time for some of our tenants and we apologize for any frustration over the time this is taking. We expect to have more updates for residents of The Hayes in the coming weeks.”