The 120 leaseholders at the Fresh building in Salford have been ordered to pay the £100,000 fire warden bill after Grenfell cladding was found at the site.
The decision last week comes before a similar concerning Citiscape, Croydon, scheduled next week, where the freeholder is Vincent Tchenguiz’s so-called Tchenguiz Family Trust, based in the British Virgin islands.
The tribunal ruled in favour of E&J Estates, the Winchester-based ground rent fund run by James Tuttiett.
The vineyard-owing business man featured in The Sun last summer as a “fat cat” speculating in the homes of ordinary people through the many opportunities provided by leasehold tenure.
Fatcat boss involved in leasehold scandal lives in one of his company’s newbuild homes
A FATCAT boss involved in the leasehold scandal lives in one of his company’s newbuild homes. But he has avoided the rip-off ground rent fees that have ruined the lives of other homebuyers. Ted Ayres, chief executive of property giant Bellway, bought his smart new home on a development in Kent, in December for £400,000.
William Waldorf Astor, heir to the viscountcy, was given the same treatment, as his £1.6 billion Long Harbour fund holds one of the largest investments in residential freeholds.
At Heysmoor Heights, in Toxteth, Liverpool, leaseholders face bills of £18,000 each and Long Harbour has provided a £750,000 loan to cover the fire warden costs.
The Manchester Evening News reported the case at Fresh, quoting a leaseholder whose service charges have risen from £125 to £360 a month.
Salford block residents must pay £100,000 for fire wardens
Court rules that owner can enforce charges at building with cladding similar to Grenfell Residents in an upmarket apartment block with cladding similar to Grenfell Tower have been told they must foot a £100,000 bill for fire wardens.
Far higher sums are likely when it comes to removing the Grenfell cladding.
If these costs fall on the leaseholders it is inevitable that leaseholders will lose their homes through lease forfeiture – a galling prospect at Heysmoor Heights, where ground rent speculators hide their beneficial ownership behind a Guernsey company, Abacus Land 4 Limited.
A spokesman for E&J is reported in the Guardian saying:
“These works are essential and urgent, but we absolutely recognise the significant cost to leaseholders. We will do everything we can to keep costs to a minimum, but the safety of the residents is our absolute priority.
“We are now loaning short-term funds to the service charge account to help cover the additional costs currently being incurred, and we are working with a number of stakeholders to try to find a longer term solution to help leaseholders in meeting these costs.”
James Tuttiett and his colleagues:
Not ideal, I know but how about this for an idea?
Suppose the residents got together and fulfilled the fire marshals role themselves?
They would have to work out shifts (and it would be inconvenient) but it would save many from bankruptcy?
Should it be that unfortunately it is ruled that once again hard pressed leaseholders end up paying for the replacement cladding than I suggest an application is made to the FTT that given the wholly exceptional circumstances the payments should be staged over the whole term of the lease?
Master Epstein. The belegured leaseholders would doubt be told that for “ elf and safety” reasons they would not be permitted to fulfil the fire Marshall role as they do not have the required degree in – Indolence? Do you recall the newspaper article shown of LKP of sleeping “ Fire Marshall’s”. I’ll bet they are just out of work bouncers and probably mates of the Managing Agents.
Your suggestion of staged payments over the lease term is excellent. Oh how I feel for the beleaguered leaseholder who are getting shafted at it seems every turn.
The leaseholders must protest.
Another interesting write up about Grenfell type cladding removal costs to leaseholders by unknown offshore tax haven based freeholders. The more information I read about this, there is a clear case of government involvement in lax UK fire regulations and despite factual based evidence from around the world of the inherent dangers of this cladding, the UK government failed to legislate since 2011. In fact, other countries had regulations banning these materials in high rise buildings for two decades. Why does the KoolTherm technical sheets confirm that their insulation should be used only with a mineral based and not polyethylene inner material as in Reynobond PE cladding? The latter was used in Grenfell and other refurbishments. Is it our fire regulations that are in contradiction to manufacturer technical specifications? Reynobond should not be used in buildings taller than 10 meters say the manufacturers, UK legislation doesnt. I think we will find the root cause goes back to our government. Can I ask LFB why it was being schmoozed by the KCTMO and the contractor at meetings demonstrating the new fire safety features at Grenfell? No concerns from LFB apparently? Don`t they check materials and technical specs? I believe the leaseholders should not be responsible for construction or building regulations out of their control. But we live in such a feudal society giving rights but not responsibilities to a monetising freeholder.
At what point in time was it known that this type of cladding was unsafe?
Had any concerns about the cladding been expressed before Citiscape was built?
E & J definitely don’t have ‘the safey of residents as their utmost priority’ because their actions will definitely cause severe mental health problems. The long term threat of bankruptcy and being made homeless must be a daily nightmare.
Being asked to pay for fire marshalls and cladding removal makes it look as if the leaseholders are partly to blame and somehow benefiting from all this expenditure being done on their behalf.
Can”t believe politicians and the media don’t give this Grenfell fallout story more compassion and attention. It’s a disaster and no surprise all the pain is dumped on the leaseholders. Come on Javid and Raab do something..
I think the government ‘s Motto is “fleecing the many, to line the pockets of the few’.
When you buy most things, the law requires that it should be fit for purpose or you can return it and get a refund. In a fair and sane world, the duty would rest squarely on the owner to fix this in order to provide a building that is basically fit for purpose. Those using the building should only be required to fund maintenance and upkeep to address wear and tear issues. That seems fair. The building owner is also best placed to take action against others whose negligence has contributed to their loss. So whilst it may not be the freeholder at fault here, everyone knows investments can go down as well as up, I agree with Chris. The system gives freeholders plenty of rights with no responsibilities. Of all the stakeholders involved in this dreadful matter, the leaseholders are the only ones that clearly should NOT pay for this remedial work. Of course who said we lived in a fair or sane world…