We would like to reassure our residents their home is safe. All of our homes have an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment, which are independently reviewed every year and any recommendations are dealt with immediately or, where appropriate, put into a programme of work to be completed within a suitable timeframe. We are in regular contact with the local fire service, and have taken all their advice and suggested measures to mitigate any risk to residents.
When will work be taking place?
We have been advised by Skymode that work should begin at Great Suffolk Street before the end of September 2021.
Can I stay in my home during the work?
We are waiting for further information from Skymode on the exact scope of the work that will take place. As soon as we have this, we will let residents know what they can expect.
However, it is unlikely that residents will be asked to vacate their homes while this work is underway.
What should I do if there’s a fire?
Will leaseholders be charged for the costs of the remedial work?
We will do all we can to protect leaseholders from these costs.
Skymode Properties confirmed on 4 May 2021 that an application to the government's Building Safety Fund has been made for Great Suffolk Street, and that the GLA has invited a full application for the building.
At this stage the fund has not provided further guidance on the estimated timescales for review, however we will continue to provide updates on this matter.
We anticipate that due to the number of applications being made across the UK, it is likely that we will have to wait some time before we hear whether these applications have been successful.
We are a charitable housing association and the way we are run and how we spend our money is regulated by the government. What this means in practice is that if we cannot find an alternative source of reimbursement for the costs of the work then we are obliged to seek to recover costs under the terms of leases. This is because the way we spend our money is subject to strict rules and we are not permitted to write off these costs if there is an alternative option. This is never our preferred way forward and we understand that this may be concerning for leaseholders. We hope that this will not be necessary but it would be wrong not to be clear about the possibility at this stage.
This situation is causing me hardship - can Southern Housing Group help me?
We will be working closely with the management company Skymode Properties to ensure that the building safety programme is completed as soon as possible although we recognise that this is a nationwide issue affecting many homes and therefore there may be some delays. If you are in hardship because of the timing of the programme for your building please speak to us.
We want to support our residents and recognise that this is stressful time for many. There may be other options that we can discuss with you that could help. In some circumstances, permission to sub-let to a tenant may be granted, although this is subject to our sub-letting policy conditions.
What do I do if I want to sublet to a tenant?
If you have fully staircased so that you now own the lease to your home then the terms of your lease will apply if you want to consider letting your home. You will still require permission, but we can provide more information if this applies to you. If you are a shared owner then our subletting policy will apply. We are happy to provide you with details of our policy upon request. We will consider subletting requests from shared owners but subject to strict criteria being met. Please contact us for more details if this applies to you.
How can I find out more?
We completely understand how important it is to be able to get reliable information. Our Building Safety Team will work closely with Skymode Properties to ensure that information is available to residents and us, in a timely manner.
For general housing related issues your Housing Services Manager continues to be Adnan Zubair.
However, for all building safety issues including the progress of the programme the building safety team will be happy to answer your questions.
It can sometimes take a while to find the answer to things so please bear with us – we know this is a worrying time for residents so we will do our best to support you and answer your questions as fully as we can with the information we have.
We'll be updating these pages whenever there is new information.