NATIONAL NEWS STORY: CROYDON RESIDENTS MAY BE FORCED TO PAY FOR REPLACEMENT CLADDING
ARMA CEO, Dr Nigel Glen, appeared on ITV London News this evening (18th January 2018) following a national news story that broke this morning.
To view the news story please click here.
BBC News and other media outlets reported that residents of a privately-owned London tower block with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower may be forced to pay up to £2m for replacement panels.
The situation facing leaseholders in Croydon is not unique and is faced by a number of leaseholders in high rise tower blocks up and down the country. Since the Grenfell Tower fire, ARMA has identified 12 high-rise blocks managed by its members where the ACM cladding has failed the new Government tests.
Immediately after the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, ARMA established a Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings Group to discuss issues arising from the tragedy and to share best practice. The safety of residents is always the uppermost concern. ARMA also flagged immediately to Government the problem under leases as to who would likely pay for the cost of fire safety remedial works.
In the absence of alternative funding, it is likely that leaseholders will be legally liable to pay for the cost of fire safety work and also for the walking watches that the fire brigades have demanded. This could easily lead to bills of tens of thousands of pounds per leaseholder. ARMA has lobbied Government to understand the time sensitive costs and the burden it could place on leaseholders.
To avoid safety being compromised whilst lengthy legal battles are fought, ARMA’s proposal is that Government provide an interest-free loan to leaseholders to cover the cost of this work.
The Government has suggested that landlords should pay for the works but there is no suggestion that anyone has acted inappropriately or cut corners, rather that Building Control approved and signed off the various types of cladding at the time and have only now tested those very systems and found them unsuitable.