Leaseholders suffering due to the cladding and building safety scandal are staging a demonstration at Leeds Dock on Saturday, July 17, between 1pm and 3pm, to highlight the devastating impact of the government’s inaction on dangerous structural defects in apartment blocks in Leeds and other areas of the country.
While the government has pledged to remove cladding on blocks of 18 metres and higher, surveyors have uncovered other major fire safety issues, such as a lack of fire breaks, combustible insulation and timber balconies.
Meanwhile, leaseholders who bought their apartments in good faith have to pay sky high insurance bills and fund enormous bills for expensive new fire alarms and waking watch fire patrols. Along with the fear of fire, they also have to face the reality that they are effectively trapped in flats are blighted and unsaleable. A growing number are of leaseholders are being forced into bankruptcy and are handing the keys of their flat to their mortgage lender.
If leaseholders are forced to pay for remediation of building safety issues, such as inadequate breaks, the figures quoted have been as high as £100,000 per flat.
This rally has been prompted by a lack of support from the government in holding developers to account financially for historic safety defects, rather than leave leaseholders to pay. Speakers at the event will include Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP and councillor Paul Wray.
Those assembled will be largely leaseholders in the Leeds city centre region who are affected by the scandal which was exposed almost four years ago in the wake of the Grenfell fire tragedy.
A spokesperson for the Leeds Cladding Scandal group said: “In Leeds, almost every residential block of flats is affected by dangerous cladding and external wall systems, structural defects or a combination of these. Most are still awaiting funding decisions and many have been told they will only receive partial funding or no funding at all.
"In these cases, the remediation bill per leaseholder ranges up to £100,000 or more. Until the buildings are made safe, Leeds flat owners are paying thousands per month for interim measures such as waking watches to ensure their and their family’s safety. Until rectified, not only are these homes dangerous but they are also worthless, leaving thousands facing the prospect of bankruptcy. The government needs to act now to hold those responsible to account."
*Leeds Cladding Scandal is working with the national #EndOurCladdingScandal Campaign to pressure the government on the recommendations set out by the cross-party Housing,
Communities and Local Government Select Committee."
The campaign sets out 10 steps calling on the Government to fix the cladding and building safety crisis. The 10 steps have been developed in consultation with the
#EndOurCladdingScandal co-founder, Inside Housing and several lawyers , including Michael Mansfield MP, representing families at the ongoing inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.