Simon Marciniak to appear on BBC’s The One Show on flammable cladding crisis for Croydon tower block residents

Simon MarciniakSimon Marciniak, partner and leading housing law specialist at Miles & Partners Solicitors in London, will be making a special appearance on the BBC’s The One Show at 7pm on Tuesday 3 April 2018.

Simon was asked to appear in his capacity as a housing law expert and Chair of the Housing Law Practitioners Association (HLPA) in a short documentary film which will be shown as part of The One Show about onerous cladding replacement costs faced by residents of a tower block in Croydon.

Simon met with some of the residents of Croydon Citiscape who are now facing a £2 million bill to replace the tower block cladding panels similar to those on Grenfell tower, after the owner of the complex said it was not their responsibility to pay.

While many councils and registered social landlords across the country have agreed to foot the bill to replace dangerous cladding owned by them, this is one of the first cases to involve a private block.

“It is appalling that, even if it is a matter of life and death, it ends up being the leaseholders (who are in the worst position financially) who end up footing the bill for these essential works),” says Simon.

At a hearing in February, a tribunal ruled that recovery of the cladding costs fell within the terms of the service charge in the lease and so the freeholder was entitled to ask the leaseholders to contribute ‘reasonable’ costs.

This ruling, which may be appealed by some of the leaseholders, would mean that each flat owner would be forced to pay up to £31,300 to replace the cladding and the ongoing costs of 24-hour fire wardens patrolling at £4,000 a week.

Residents are now waiting for the date of the appeal and also calling for the outcome of the Grenfell Tower enquiry to be released, which offers them a glimmer of hope. If the Grenfell enquiry decides that the cladding manufacturer or tower block builders were negligent, then costs of the replacement cladding could be recovered from these parties.

“This is a pivotal case for thousands of leaseholders, who are not only living in precarious danger in unsafe building that could burn down at any moment, but also face little alternative because they are being unfairly being asked to pay costs they can ill afford,” says Simon.

Tune in to BBC1 at 7pm for The One Show, on Tuesday 3 April to watch Simon Marciniak on the heart-wrenching plight of the residents at Citiscape Croydon.

This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please note that the law may have changed since the date this article was published. You should always take legal advice relating to your individual circumstances.