10:05AM, Wednesday 29 November 2017
An estimated £4million bill to replace unsafe cladding and carry out works on a Slough tower block may be footed by insurers instead of leaseholders, Slough Borough Council (SBC) has said.
Nova House in Buckingham Gardens first made headlines after failing cladding safety tests in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster in June.
Since then leaseholders have complained about fire safety and management of the seven-storey block.
A private fire engine was put on stand-by outside the block of flats 24 hours a day on September 29 as a precaution, which has cost SBC about £2,000 a day.
In October, SBC announced plans to buy the tower’s freeholding company, Ground Rents Estates 5 Limited, to take over the building and negotiations continue.
Despite comments at a SBC scrutiny committee meeting in October, in which councillors and officers discussed the possibility of leaseholders paying for an estimated £4m in improvements works, a SBC spokeswoman says an insurance claim against insurers BLP is ‘on the cards’.
She added: “Until we are the freeholder, we can’t make the decision about how we may take the costs back, however an insurance claim is a possibility.”
The strength of a claim will depend on the terms of the leases, which SBC cannot comment on until it is the freeholder.
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