Tuesday 7 January 2020

Network Homes warns leaseholders they may face £100,000 cladding bills

Inside Housing reports LINK that Network Homes, which has an office (due to be redeveloped) in Fulton Road Wembley and owns and manages homes in Brent has warned leaseholders that they may face bills of up to £100,000 for the removal of non-aluminium composite cladding material (non-ACM).

Network say that this is the higher end of their estimates but their charitable status limits how much they can pay towards the work.  The article does not state how many, if any, Brent properties are affected but out of Network's 20,000 homes 4,000 are owned by leaseholders.

Inside Housing reports Helen Evans, CEO of Network Homes as stating:
This is a challenging situation and we are working on solutions that remediate affected buildings as quickly as possible. 

We are pursuing all alternatives to passing costs onto leaseholders and treating this possibility as a last resort. However, as registered charities, housing associations cannot make a blanket commitment to pay costs that are legally leaseholders’ liability.

If we cannot recover costs from others and the government does not fund the work in the way that it has with ACM cladding removal, we have no alternative but to put our leaseholders on notice that they could be liable for some of these costs.
A week before Christmas Network Homes put this notice on their website:
The government has released a document called Advice Note 14, which tells owners of tall buildings to do a new investigation to ensure the ‘external wall system’ has been properly installed and maintained. The external wall system means cladding, insulation or any other material on the outside wall of your building.

The government advice notes are not clear and confusing even to experts, so we, alongside other large housing associations, are asking the government to clarify their advice. In the meantime, we’ve already started these investigations on some of our tall blocks (the advice note directs us to look at ones over 18 metres – around six storeys). This is for buildings with non-ACM cladding – the type on Grenfell Tower – as those buildings have already been investigated. For buildings that we haven’t started yet, we’re getting a schedule in place to do the investigations.

Investigations must be done by trained professionals and in some cases the system will need to be tested in an accredited test centre. Once investigations are complete, we will be issued with a report to confirm compliance or with some work that needs to be done to make the building compliant.
If you live in a tall building over 18m and you’ve not yet received information about the investigations, please bear with us while we confirm our schedule. We hope to write to you with more information in the new year. Please note, your buildings are still safe – where issues are found we will put any necessary interim measures in place and advise you of these at the time.

If you have any questions regarding your tall building, get in touch with our dedicated Building Safety Team who will be able to help. You can email them at buildingsafetyteam@networkhomes.org.uk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surely it should be the freeholder, who built the tall building with dodgy cladding on its walls, that should be responsible for the costs, not the leaseholders who bought their flats in good faith?!