Landlords told to remove Grenfell-style cladding from buildings or face fines

Cladding being removed from a London tower block

Cladding being removed from a London tower block

Monday, September 10, 2018

Landlords including some of the UK's biggest property firms have been told to remove unsafe cladding from their buildings or face the threat of enforcement action.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has written to around 60 building owners and property developers setting out the steps they must take to avoid fines.

The crackdown on buildings with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding followed the Grenfell Tower blaze which claimed the lives of 72 people.

Firms contacted by Mr Brokenshire include Lendlease, Pemberstone, Paddington Development Corporation and GLA Land & Property, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said.

Companies may face financial penalties and restriction of access to other government schemes if they do not comply.

Building owners have been working with fire safety experts to put in place interim safety measures to ensure residents are safe until cladding replacement is complete.

Mr Brokenshire said: "There is a moral imperative for private sector landlords to do the right thing and remove unsafe cladding quickly, and not leave leaseholders to cover the cost."

Mr Brokenshire praised building owners and developers including Barratt Developments, Mace Group, Legal & General and Taylor Wimpey, who have agreed to cover all costs of the work.

"A number of leading developers have stepped up to the mark and agreed to pay for work, and we urge others to follow their lead," he said.

"If they don't, we have not ruled anything out.

"I am also warning those who are not acting quickly enough to put in plans to remove dangerous cladding to take action now, or face enforcement action from their council."

Figures from August this year showed 293 private sector residential buildings had been identified as having ACM cladding systems unlikely to meet current building regulations guidance.

The MHCLG had not been informed of remediation plans for 200 of the buildings.