Paying the price of fire safety - who picks up the bill?


Since the Grenfell tragedy in June 2017, freeholders have been reviewing whether their apartment blocks have been clad in similar flammable materials.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that two blocks of flats in the Green Quarter in Manchester city centre have been clad in highly flammable materials and therefore pose a huge risk to residents in the event of a fire. The cost of replacing the faulty cladding is estimated to be around £3,000,000. The landlord has asked each leaseholder to contribute £10,000 towards the works which is being disputed.

So who picks up the bill?

The leaseholders have taken the matter to a tribunal which will decide who is to bear the cost of the major works required to replace the cladding.  The outcome of the tribunal hearing is currently awaited. Until then, this case no doubt raises concerns for other leaseholders in similar situations.

The first consideration is to check what your lease says – who is responsible for repair and maintenance, and to what extent?

Also, is there a reserve fund in place for unanticipated works? A reserve fund is an amount of money set aside which is used for any emergency works which were not budgeted for in the previous financial year.

The outcome of the hearing at the tribunal could potentially set a precedent for future cases. The leaseholders in these buildings will face uncertainty until the matter is resolved. The immediate concern will no doubt be the safety of the residents. Longer term, thought must be given to the marketability of these properties.

Our Residential Property team at Myerson are specialists in leasehold properties and can assist you with a wide range of queries.

Please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0161 941 4000.

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