Grenfell Tower Tragedy
by Hannah Dare, 26 June 2017
The horrific fire that took place at Grenfell Tower in Kensington has left all in shock.
Owners of flats in blocks clad with Aluminium Composite Panels (ACP) will understandably be concerned about the combustibility of the cladding material. The freeholder or management company responsible for repair and maintenance of the structural and external parts of blocks clad with ACP should be taking urgent action to check the safety of the cladding material used.
Flat owners will be keen to ensure that the freeholder or management company responsible for maintenance of the block has carried out a full, comprehensive and up to date fire risk assessment of the block and all of the common parts and then carried out all recommended action. Fresh fire risk assessments are likely to be required where blocks are found to be clad in ACP.
If it becomes necessary for existing cladding to be removed from a block then flat owners may be faced with significant legal issues such as:
- whether flat owners need to contribute very significant service charges in respect of the cost of the removal of the cladding and its replacement; and
- whether flat owners can recover significant service charge contributions previously paid towards the cost of defective cladding.