Barratt Developments has agreed to foot the bill for the replacement of cladding on a residential building in Croydon which failed combustibility tests last year.
Housing secretary Sajid Javid revealed Barratt had agreed to cover all future and backdated costs relating to the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding, as well as fire warden costs, at the Citiscape residential development in Croydon.
Leaseholders were told at a residents’ meeting last night of Barratt’s decision to pick up the bill, which could be up to £2m.
In August 2017 FirstPort, Citiscape’s property manager, was informed by the then Department for Communities and Local Government that the cladding on the building had failed combustibility tests and should be removed.
A independent property tribunal case brought by First Port ruled earlier this year that the property’s leaseholders would in principle be liable to pay for cladding work through their yearly service charge.
The recladding was quoted as costing between £1.8m and £2m.
A Barratt spokesman said: “Following the recent ruling that the costs for necessary recladding at Citiscape will fall on the individual apartment owners, many of whom were originally Barratt customers when it was built in 2002, we have decided that we will pay for the work.”
After the Grenfell Tower tragedy last June the government drew up the Building Safety Programme, which included identifying buildings with unsafe cladding and provide guidance to building owners on fire safety.
The government has so far found 306 buildings with cladding systems unlikely to meet current Building Regulations.
These include 158 social housing buildings, 134 private sector residential buildings and 14 public buildings such as hospitals and schools.
Mr Javid has urged private developers and building owners to ensure they do not pass on the costs of replacement cladding to leaseholders.
After months of discussions, Barratt has become one of the first private firms to agree to cover the costs of the work.
Last November Legal & General agreed to pay for the recladding of the Blenheim Centre development in Hounslow, saving residents up to £30,000 each.
The government said it was now in discussions with other private developers and building owners to follow suit.
A Barratt spokesman said: “Citiscape was built in line with all Building Regulations in place at the time of construction.
“While we don’t own the building or have any liability for the cladding, we are committed to putting our customers first. The important thing now is ensuring that owners and residents have peace of mind.”
Mr Javid said: “I applaud Barratt Developments’ decision to cover the costs of fire safety works. They have listened to the concerns of Citiscape residents, engaged with government and have done the right thing.
“Other building owners and housebuilders in the private sector should follow the example set by Barratt Developments to protect leaseholders from costs and begin essential fire safety works.”
Source: Construction News