At KLS Law, we have been instructed on numerous legal matters where tenants living in tower blocks have had cladding removed as a result of the Grenfell tragedy.
One may initially read this as good news, but the problem has been that the cladding was not replaced with anything following removal.
In the absence of any cladding whatsoever, the tenants have then suffered problems arising from severe damp and water penetration. Outer cladding on a high rise building usually protects tenants from these issues.
This has resulted in stress and anxiety for the tenants involved, along with other medical problems as a result of mould growth.
During our research into this, we discovered that no less than 35 privately owned tower blocks with Grenfell-style cladding still have no clear remediation plans in place.
It comes as the government has published the prospectus for the fund on the 26th May 2020. This will meet the cost for remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on residential buildings in the private and social sector that are 18 meters and over and do not comply with building regulations.
Data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) shows that a total of 163 private blocks still have ACM cladding that has yet to be fully removed. Of these, 21 have started remediation, while 70 have remediation plans in place but works have not started. 37 owners have said they intend to remediate and are developing plans. However, 35 buildings remain with ‘unclear remediation plans’.
Just one block has had its cladding removed since the latest figures were published.
Matt Wrack, General Secretary at the Fire Brigades Union, branded the rate of progress as ‘shameful’.
The social housing sector has been more proactive in the removal of dangerous cladding. However, 102 buildings still are yet to be fully fixed. Owners of 81 buildings have started remediation, 20 have plans in place, and one is developing plans.
This fund is predominately targeted at supporting leaseholders in the private sector facing significant bills. However, the government is clear that for leaseholders living in buildings owned by providers in the social sector, it will provide funding to meet the provider’s costs, which would otherwise have been borne by leaseholders. The government expects landlords to cover these costs without increasing rent for their tenants.