Leaseholders living in a block in Salford have received bills of up to £30,000 to pay for the removal of dangerous materials from their building’s cladding system.
Leaseholders at the 246-home NV Buildings in Salford have told Inside Housing that they have received bills this week calling on them to pay for the removal of dangerous insulation and for other fire safety works.
The cladding system on the NV Buildings contains expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS), which in 2017 the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said was a fire hazard and needed to be removed. The NV Buildings have also been found to have defective fire breaks.
The amount residents have to contribute varies depending on the size of the flat, with the biggest properties understood to be facing bills of £30,000. The first payment is expected on 15 October this year, and the rest of the money needs to be paid in January 2020.
Carolyn Tauber, who received a £7,000 bill for the work this week, told Inside Housing that residents could not move on with their lives.
She said: “We are stuck, we can’t sell. What happens next? It could result in people losing their houses. We are well and truly stuck.”
Residents at the NV Buildings are under a tripartite lease, which not only means that they are liable for the recladding costs, but also that they must manage the remediation work through a management company made up of resident directors.
As a result, the resident directors are responsible for issuing the bills to fellow leaseholders. Ms Tauber said this had caused some friction between leaseholders in the block.
Last month the government announced that it would provide funding for the removal of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from private blocks. However, because the NV Buildings contain minimal ACM, the government has told residents that they will be unable to claim money towards remedial costs for the block.
Inside Housing is currently running the End Our Cladding Scandal Campaign, which is calling on the government to fund remedial work on blocks with any type of dangerous cladding, in addition to ACM.
The total cost of work at the block is estimated to be £2,654,000 – but this could rise.
The scheme was developed by Countryside Properties in 2005. Carillion, which went into liquidation last year, was the original contractor enlisted to build the block.
Countryside Properties told Inside Housing in December that the building complied with all fire and building regulations and had all relevant approvals when it was built 15 years ago.