Fire-Hazardous Flats Where Repairs Cost Every Resident Up to £ 156k: New Buyer Reveals Most Expensive Example of Facade Crisis to Date
- Repair costs at Milliners in Bristol are considered the largest individual costs
- Attorney Steph Pike, 29, paid £ 193,000 for her one-bedroom flat
- Tests showed that The Milliners had the same combustible insulation as Grenfell
More than 100 tenant farmers trapped in flats built after the Grenfell disaster face bills of up to £ 156,000 each to remedy fire safety deficiencies.
The repair bills at The Milliners in Bristol are so far considered the largest individual cost to the affected tenants anywhere in Britain.
Lawyer Steph Pike, 29, paid £ 193,000 for her one-bedroom apartment in the 109-apartment development, completed months after the fire in the West London tower building in 2017 claimed 72 lives.
With the devastating inferno still fresh in their minds, she and other buyers sought and obtained assurances that their homes were safe.
But last October’s tests showed the block had the same type of cladding used at Grenfell, which an investigation has been blamed for accelerating the spread of the fire.
Attorney Steph Pike (pictured), 29, paid £ 193,000 for her one-bedroom apartment in the 109-apartment development, completed months after the west London tower building fire in 2017 claimed 72 lives
The tests also found that The Milliners had the same flammable insulation as Grenfell – plus missing cavity barriers and flammable wooden balconies.
The building’s total repair bill of £ 7.9 million, which has been converted into flats of unused offices, is estimated at £ 7.5 million.
The leaseholder must pay between £ 70,000 and £ 156,000 each, depending on the size of their flat. Miss Pike says she will go out of business and lose her job if she has to pay the full cost.
The revelations prompted experts to warn that the construction industry ‘continued as normal’ in the year after Grenfell and that many new apartments could be unsafe.
Clive Betts MP and chairman of the Commons housing committee said it was “absolutely outrageous” that potentially unsafe apartments were still being built after the fire. Only 242 of the potentially 11,760 unsafe buildings have been repaired since Grenfell.
The Daily Mail is campaigning to end the scandal by June 2022 and save the tenants from crippling financial burdens.
With the devastating inferno still fresh in their minds, she and other buyers sought and obtained assurances that their homes were safe. Pictured: Steph Pike
The government has since tripled its fund to replace unsafe cladding to £ 5 billion, but it excludes those who live in blocks less than 18 meters (60 ft), who instead have to pay bills of up to £ 600 per year for repairs.
And there’s nothing for those dealing with an average cost of £ 25,600 each to fix non-siding flaws, such as wooden balconies.
The Milliners is 19 meters high. The owner, Gray GR, filed for government funding in December, but it’s unclear how much he will receive and whether the non-cladding defects, which are often more expensive, will be covered.
There has been a 24-hour fire patrol since November, costing £ 165 per month per leaseholder. On Monday, the government rejected an amendment to its fire safety bill that would stop building owners from passing on costs to tenants, despite an uprising by 33 Tory MPs.
Miss Pike, who first hit the market, said ministers need to step in. She added: ‘They have said several times that tenants should not have to pay, yet they continue to vote against the amendment which says exactly that. It makes me think, “Do you want us to pay then?”
The Milliners’ contractor, HQ3, said, “We are fully working with Gray GR … and have provided them with proof of compliance. We must add that the building was signed off at the time by an accredited fire brigade consultant. We have not been notified of any “defects” … we do not know about the £ 7.5 million repair cost. ‘
Gray GR said resident safety was its ‘main concern’ and that it was not responsible for the ‘construction or choice of materials for the building that led to this incredibly troubling situation’.
It said it is “seeking recovery from those who may be responsible” and had filed with the government fund. But it confirmed that the fund “ would not cover all costs, ” meaning that “ there is a risk that tenants will eventually be asked to pay for any deficit ” through their service charges.
A government spokesman said the application from the Milliners Fund “will be considered in due course.”