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Grenfell: Minister warns building owners over re-cladding costs

The housing secretary has told parliament he has “not ruled anything out” for private sector building owners that refuse to meet the costs of re-cladding their properties.

Speaking yesterday in a Commons debate on Grenfell, James Brokenshire said there was a “growing sense of doing the right thing” with regards to building owners not passing re-cladding costs on to leaseholders.

“I have met a number of building owners directly to set out our expectations,” the housing secretary said.

“The industry is considering how to ensure that those obligations are not passed on to leaseholders, but there is a growing sense of doing the right thing.

“It is notable that more building owners have determined to meet the costs themselves. But as I have indicated to the House, if they do not, I have not ruled anything out.”

Mr Brokenshire was responding to a question from Conservative MP for Hendon Matthew Offord as to whether legal steps would be introduced to ensure costs were not passed on to leaseholders.

There have been a number of court cases between building owners and tenants over who should pay for the removal of non-compliant cladding in private sector developments.

In March, First Port brought a case to tribunal relating to its Citiscape site in Croydon.

The judge ruled in principle the leaseholders would be liable to pay for work through their yearly service charge.

Leaseholders in the Citiscape building faced a total bill of £31,000 each to cover the cost of re-cladding.

However, the building’s original developer Barratt stepped in to foot the bill.

On Monday, CN revealed Mace was paying around £100,000 a month to cover the cost of extra fire safety measures introduced following the discovery of Grenfell-style cladding on one of its London developments.

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