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25 Jul 15:03

About our UK Cladding Scandal news

Latest news on the UK cladding scandal, a social crisis that affects thousands of UK residents who live in buildings that have been clad in dangerously combustible materials, which pose a high risk of fire spread. The scandal was exposed by the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017 and the Bolton Cube fire of 2019, which killed 72 and two people respectively. The cladding and/or insulation were made from flammable material, such as aluminium composite panels (ACP) or high-pressure laminate (HPL) panels.

The scandal has also revealed that many buildings have other fire safety faults, such as defective insulation, flammable balconies, missing fire breaks, faulty fire doors and inadequate sprinkler systems. These faults are partly due to the weakening of safety measures and the deregulation of building control in the UK since the 1980s, which allowed builders to self-certify their work and manufacturers to test their own products.

The scandal has created an affordability crisis for many leaseholders, who face huge bills to pay for the removal and replacement of the cladding and other safety works. The costs can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of pounds per flat. Many leaseholders are also unable to sell or remortgage their flats, as lenders require an ‘EWS1’ form to prove that the building is safe, which is often difficult or impossible to obtain. Some leaseholders also have to pay for interim measures, such as ‘waking watches’ or increased insurance premiums, while waiting for the remediation works to be completed.

The government has pledged over £5 billion towards remediation works, but this is widely seen as insufficient and unfair by campaigners and affected residents. The government funding only covers buildings over 18 metres high with ACP cladding, leaving out many other buildings with different types of cladding or other fire safety issues. The government has also proposed a loan scheme for buildings under 18 metres, which would cap the repayments at £50 per month per leaseholder, but this would still leave many leaseholders in debt for decades. The government has also introduced a Building Safety Levy on new residential buildings in England, which would raise £3 billion over 10 years to fund remediation works, but this has been criticised as too slow and too low.

The government has faced pressure from various groups to end the cladding scandal and protect leaseholders from bearing the costs of fixing unsafe buildings. These groups include the End Our Cladding Scandal campaign, which has set out 10 steps for the government to take; the UK Cladding Action Group, which represents over 170 cladding groups across the UK; and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Leasehold and Commonhold Reform, which has more than 150 MPs and peers as members. These groups have called for the government to cover the full cost of remediation works upfront and then recover it from those responsible, such as developers, contractors, manufacturers and insurers; to set a clear timescale for completing the works; and to reimburse leaseholders for the costs they have already incurred.

We offer 24/7 comprehensive coverage, spotlighting crucial aspects of the scandal. This includes thorough investigations into the mishandling and misuse of cladding products by construction firms and the identification of potentially hazardous materials used in buildings across the UK. Additionally, we cover the consequential legal actions taken against these firms and the manufacturers supplying these substandard cladding products. Our feed keeps you up-to-date on the latest court proceedings, lawsuits, and regulatory actions that are part of the ongoing efforts to hold those responsible accountable. We also delve into the legislative responses to this crisis, showcasing the policy measures and reforms being proposed or enacted to improve the position of affected tenants and property owners.

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