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Information about unsafe building cladding issues

Information about unsafe building cladding issues

What building cladding issues are, what we’re doing to help and support available from the government.

What building cladding issues are

After the fire at Grenfell, the Mayor and Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS) reassured residents that no council flats in Bristol used the same cladding system as Grenfell. 

Residents in privately owned and housing association homes may live in buildings with unsafe cladding.  As well as the fire risk to all residents, some owners and leaseholders face:

  • expensive work to replace unsafe cladding
  • more expensive buildings insurance premiums 
  • having to pay for a temporary solution of waking watches, which is paying people to patrol buildings constantly to check for fires
  • difficulty selling their home because mortgage lenders have stopped lending money to buyers unless the owner can prove the building is safe, usually with an EWS1 form (rics.org)

What we’re doing

By law, we must make sure that any buildings we own or lease are safe to live in. We’re reviewing and improving fire safety in our buildings.

We’re asking all private and social landlords to:

  • instruct a qualified consultant to assess the building’s cladding immediately
  • resolve any cladding issues as quickly as possible

We’re also helping landlords and leaseholders to access any government funding they may be eligible for, and administering the Waking Watch Relief Fund.

Support from the government

The government has two funds to support residents and leaseholders with cladding issues.

Waking Watch Relief Fund

The Waking Watch Relief Fund pays for installing alarm systems in buildings with unsafe cladding. An alarm system replaces the need for a waking watch while residents wait for unsafe cladding to be removed.

To be eligible for this fund, the building must:

  • be in the private sector
  • be over 18 metres in height
  • have unsafe cladding
  • have a waking watch in place, paid for by leaseholders

To apply for this funding, email private.housing@bristol.gov.uk.

Only building owners can apply to this fund. You must apply by 14 March 2021.

GOV.UK has more information about the Waking Watch Relief Fund

Fund to remove unsafe cladding

The government has also announced a £3.5 billion fund and 5-point plan to remove unsafe cladding.

The government will:

  • pay for the removal of unsafe cladding from buildings over 18 metres high 
  • provide a loan scheme for leaseholders in buildings between 11 and 18 metres high to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding: each leaseholder will pay back no more than £50 per month

Find out more about the government’s 5-point plan (GOV.UK).

Who to contact if you’re worried about cladding issues

Contact:

Homes England

If you've bought your property through Homes England's ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, email:

If you bought your home through Homes England's ‘Help to Buy’ and have a complaint, issue around cladding or getting an EWS1 form inspection, email helptobuycomplaints@homesengland.gov.uk

More information and support

The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) provides free initial advice on leasehold law.

The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership is a campaign group which supports leaseholders on cladding issues, as well as other leasehold issues.

The Bristol Cladding Action Group unites leaseholders across Bristol who are affected by cladding issues. They can’t offer formal advice, but they have an online support network where people can share their experiences. Also find them on Twitter.

Public meeting on cladding scandal

Public meeting video