Residents in a privately-owned block of flats in south London with similar cladding to that on Grenfell Tower may be forced to pay around £2 million for replacement panels to be installed. Citiscape in Croydon is one of 228 buildings across the country which failed fire safety tests in the weeks after the Grenfell fire, in which 71 people died.
Firstport Property Services, the building's property manager, was advised in August that measures should be taken to replace the cladding. It has now written twice to residents, outlining that costs will likely be covered through service charges, paid for collectively by leaseholders. The cost of replacing the unsafe cladding has been estimated at between £1.8 and £2 million.
Local MP Steve Reed raised concerns last year about costs to residents and the government has urged landlords to not attempt to pass on the bill to leaseholders. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said all local authorities and housing associations in discussion with the department were choosing not to pass the cost on, as were some private companies.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Citiscape residents meet the costs. It states that they are calling on people to support them as the government system has "alienated" them. Resident Alexandra Blanc, who bought her flat in 2014, says the situation has become out of control and she is worried about the prospect of losing her home.
A hearing at a first-tier property tribunal will take place on February 6th to determine who should foot the bill.