Last edited 02 Nov 2020

Housing Defects Act 1984

Following the second world war, there was a need for a great deal of new housing, and new construction techniques were adopted, in particular by local authorities and other public bodies. However, these new methods were not without their problems, and prefabricated construction techniques in particular resulted in a large number of defects.

In the 1980’s, these defects were researched by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), and in 1984, the Government introduced a scheme to help owners who had unwittingly purchased 'designated defective' types of property from a public authority.

The Housing Defects Act 1984, was described as an ‘…Act to make provision in connection with defective dwellings disposed of by public sector authorities...'

The Secretary of State could designate types of buildings if it appeared that buildings in the proposed class were defective by reason of their design or construction, and by virtue of this having become generally known, their value had been substantially reduced.

The Act was later consolidated into Part XVI of the 1985 Housing Act, and provided for a 90% grant towards the cost of repairing defects, subject to an expenditure limit, or repurchase at 95% of the defect free value.

Local authorities estimated that owners of 31,000 properties would qualify for a grant under the scheme. By February 1994, 90% of eligible owners had already been assisted under the scheme. The last date by which owners of most designated buildings could apply for assistance was 30 November 1994.

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