Jon Cruddas MP has taken up with government Ministers the scandalously high building insurance premiums faced by local leaseholders.
In recent months Jon has been contacted by leaseholders across Dagenham and Rainham who have been issued with service charge demands that have massively increased mainly due to the rise in the cost of building insurance. All types of apartment blocks have been affected, including Council owned, housing association and privately owned and managed. The problem also hit leaseholders living in blocks that have cladding and traditional built ones with no cladding.
Jon said “The figures for the increases in service charges due to the building insurance costs are frightening for leaseholders and are causing real anxiety and stress. Leaseholders in Dagenham have been in touch with me reporting that the insurance premium in their service charge had quadrupled to almost £600 for the year. Residents of a privately owned apartment block in Chadwell Heath have faced an increase of eighteen fold in two years, so that their total service charge is now over £5,000 a year”.
Our research shows that in Havering alone, more than 2,200 leaseholders of ex Council flats face large rises in cost. The reasons given for this surge in building insurance premiums are that the insurance market has been impacted by a number of companies leaving the market and that the business is no longer profitable so the remaining companies have upped their prices.
Jon Cruddas went on to say “I have written three times to Government Ministers bringing this issue to their attention and asking them to take action. They say they have asked the Financial Conduct Authority to look into the insurance market. In my letter of 6 September to the Minister I asked what was the outcome of this and what do they intend to do.”
Margaret Mullane, Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Dagenham and Rainham added “Leaseholders have been contacting us at their wit’s end. This comes on top of the cost of living crisis. I join with Jon in calling for Government action to better regulate what has become a dysfunctional insurance market.”