‘Unsafe’ block residents sent huge cladding bill
OWNERS OF flats in Nova House in Slough have been sent bills for £15,000 each to cover the cost of replacing cladding.
In October last year, it was reported that the building failed the government’s safety tests on cladding, before further fire service investigations ‘revealed other hazards inside’, Slough Borough Council spending over £40,000 to hire a fire appliance ‘to be on standby outside’. In turn, it was paying around £2,000 per day for fireighters ‘to watch over’ the privately owned block.
Last November, it was reported that the £4m estimated cost to replace the cladding and undertake other work ‘may be footed by insurers instead of leaseholders’, but Slough Observer has now reported that leaseholders were sent bills for £14,843 ‘to cover potential cladding costs’ by Ringley, the managers of the building.
Slough Borough Council has been in negotiations to buy the block’s freeholding company Ground Rent Estates 5 Ltd, so that it can ‘run the building’. The insurance claim previously reported however is still being processed, so the leaseholders ‘may not have to pay a cent’ should the claim be successful.
A spokesman for Ground Rent Estates 5 Ltd stated: ‘An insurance claim is currently being pursued to replace the cladding and to conduct other fire safety measures at the property. As is normally the case, the leaseholders – who own the property – are liable for the costs to maintain the property. In the event of an unsuccessful insurance claim they will be liable for the costs to replace the cladding and other works.
‘Those involved in the installation of the cladding at Nova House are TPS Nova, the property developer and Timeless Property Services, the main contractor for the construction of the property. In addition, Butler and Young were the building inspectors. We have made numerous enquiries with all parties, but it is still not clear where the issue arose in the construction of the property.’
A spokeswoman for Slough Borough Council added: ‘We weren’t party to the letter that went out to leaseholders from Ringley. I can confirm the council is continuing to carry out its due diligence, and we hope to make a decision regarding Nova House by the end of the month.’