An independent tribunal is set to rule on whether leaseholders in a Croydon residential block should pay up to £31,300 each to replace cladding which was found to be unsafe following the Grenfell Tower tragedy
The Guardian last week reported distress among residents at the Citiscape block after they were asked to collectively pay £2 million towards the cost of replacing the dangerous cladding.
Property manager First Port Property Services, which made the request, said that it has now referred the case to First Tier Tribunal – Property Chamber, to get a ruling on whether its request is legitimate.
The paper quoted resident Alex Blanc as saying: ‘This situation is out of control. I received a letter telling me I have to pay more than I earn in one year’s salary in six weeks’ time for something I am not even responsible for. I am very worried about the prospect of losing my flat.’
Following the Grenfell fire, the building’s cladding was subject to a number of tests by the Building Research Establishment from June to August 2017.
In August, the DCLG advised First Port that the cladding had failed final system combustibility tests and that steps should be taken to remove it.
The company said that an independent assessment by a surveyor had put the cost of replacing the cladding at between £1.8 million and £2 million.
A FirstPort spokesperson said: ‘We recognise that the potential costs are significant, and are committed to minimising them while putting residents’ safety first.
‘As the property manager, we are discharging our responsibilities under the leasehold agreements and working with residents as closely as possible to find a solution to this very complex situation.’
It called on the government to clarify what state support would be made available to undertake safety works.
A statement from the renamed ministry of housing, communities and local government said: ‘We are clear we would like to see private-sector landlords follow the lead of the social sector and not pass on the costs.’
The block was built in 2002 by Barratt Developments.