24 Feb 2022
After the Grenfell Fire in 2017, the Government announced a ban on combustible material on new high rise buildings. The exterior of all buildings will need to be examined to see whether cladding is present. Following a recent announcement, in the absence of cladding, leaseholders will be able to sell their properties without the need for external wall certification. However, many buildings will remain with external cladding present which may or may not require remedial work.
The principal responsibility for identifying the need for remedial work by and large falls on the building owner (defined as the person receiving the rack rent). Depending on the nature of the cladding, those responsible for the choice defective material will be held liable ultimately to pay for the remedial work (removing the unsafe cladding and obtaining appropriate external wall certifications).
However, identifying who is responsible for remedying the work and paying for it isn’t always easy and developers, architects, building inspectors, freeholders, managing agents and leaseholders – could all share some responsibility.
Harold Benjamin are specialist property solicitors and work with developers, agents and others to provide bespoke advice in complex legal matters.