Property Disputes Q&A – Part 4

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Q. Must the leaseholders pay to make tower blocks safe?

A. Tower blocks around the country are undergoing safety tests following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in June this year. The cladding on many blocks has been found to fail these tests and leaseholders in privately owned blocks now have legitimate concerns about who will pay to make their cladding safe. Those leaseholders will normally be obliged to pay a service charge to their landlord to cover the repair and maintenance costs for the building. Landlords will therefore almost certainly ask their leaseholders to pay. But is that fair? The leaseholders may already have paid once to have the cladding installed. It is not their fault that the cladding has now been found to be unsafe. Why should they pay again? It may be that the landlords were at fault in choosing the wrong cladding for the block, or perhaps that the engineers or architects advising them were to blame. Each case will turn on its own facts but it seems almost certain that leaseholders will object to the service charge demands they receive in the near future, and probably with good cause.

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For specific advice on Property Disputes, please contact John Wagstaffe.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.