Friday marked the two year anniversary of the terrible Grenfell fire, one of the worst housing incidents in recent years. On 14th June 2017, a fire broke out at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, West London. It killed 72 people, including 18 children.
Since then, it’s been reported that there are about 170 privately owned buildings with Grenfell-like cladding that fails the safety regulations.
That’s about 20,000 people living in buildings which use the now-banned type of cladding.
Some building owners had tried to pass on the costs to residents by threatening them with bills running to thousands of pounds.
Some leaseholders have been forced to mount their own 24-hour patrols to make sure fires don’t break out, while others’ homes have become unsaleable.
On 9th May 2019, the government announced that it will fully fund the replacement of unsafe aluminium composite (ACM) cladding on around 170 high-rise private residential buildings around England at an estimated cost of £200 million.
Leaseholder groups said the news would be a “relief” but more was needed.
There is concern any new money will only be made available to remove the aluminium composite cladding and not to fix other fire safety problems including
The money would not cover the costs of removing all of the cladding, and would not cover the costs of other ongoing fire protection measures including 24-hour waking watch patrols of corridors, which leaseholders are paying thousands of pounds a month to maintain.
Quotes for remediation have typically been in the £4m-£5m range and the £200m averages out at about £1.2m per building.
Under the plan owners of private buildings will have three months to claim the funds, with one condition being that they take “reasonable steps” to recover the costs from those responsible for the cladding.
It is important to note that this article isn’t exhaustive and doesn’t constitute legal advice.