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Fire Safety Bill: Leaseholders must not pay the price of cladding removal

March 17, 2021 6:44 PM
By Thomas Clarke

Liberal Democrats have tabled another amendment to the Fire Safety Bill which will be debated when the bill reaches the House of Lords today, with Lib Dem peer Baroness Pinnock describing the issue as "an unresolved crisis of major proportions."

During debate on the Lib Dem amendment to the bill, which would stop the cost of fire safety work like the removal of unsafe cladding from being passed on to leaseholders and tenants, Baroness Kath Pinnock will say:

"This very serious problem can only be resolved with up front funding from the Government which can then be recouped from developers, construction firms, and manufacturers.

"The Government's own estimate is that the total cost of remediation will be in the region of £16billion. The buildings involved are not just in London but all across the country."

She will continue:

"Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families are watching and waiting for the decision of this House today. They are willing us on to help find a fair and just solution to a problem that is not in any way of their making. Yet they are the ones who are being asked to pay the price."

Harold Wood residents were reported to be impacted by costs to replace dangerous cladding - https://www.romfordrecorder.co.uk/news/housing/harold-wood-kings-park-flats-have-flammable-cladding-7829882

The Liberal Democrat amendment to the Fire Safety Bill is below:

4F After Clause 2, insert the following new Clause-

"Prohibition on passing remediation costs on to leaseholders and tenants

(1) The Secretary of State must design and implement a scheme to reassign the costs of any remediation work arising from the provisions of this Act borne by leaseholders or tenants to bodies including but not limited to the building owner, freeholder or developer.

(2) The owner of a building may not pass on the costs of any remediation work referred to in subsection (1) through the request of increased service payments from the leaseholders or tenants of that building.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to a leaseholder who is also the owner or part owner of the freehold of the building."