Cladding crisis: Flat owners 'exploring bankruptcy and facing bills of over £100,000'

10 February 2021, 09:30 | Updated: 10 February 2021, 14:42

One in six flat-owners affected by the cladding scandal is exploring bankruptcy
One in six flat-owners affected by the cladding scandal is exploring bankruptcy. Picture: PA
Rachael Venables

By Rachael Venables

A survey shared with LBC has found more than one in six flat owners affected by the cladding scandal is exploring bankruptcy.

The survey, done by Inside Housing and End Our Cladding Scandal and shown in advance to LBC, polled 1,342 leaseholders last week.

The results were a damning demonstration of the financial pressures faced by flat owners.

More than one in six respondents (17.5%) said they had already begun to explore bankruptcy options, with many being forced to take loans from friends or family, or second jobs, to pay interim costs associated with dangerous cladding.

We also got a scale of the bills facing residents who fail to access Government funding.

62.5% of respondents said the cost of fixing their building would cost them more than £30,000 per flat.

While 15.4% households face a bill of more than £100,000 for remediation.

It comes as End Our Cladding Scandal write to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, effectively telling him that they won't accept a deal which doesn't protect all leaseholders from all costs.

We're awaiting an announcement in the House of Commons by Robert Jenrick at 12.30

Leaked reports suggest there will be more support for leaseholders in flats higher than 18 metres, with billions of pounds more in funding expected.

But, it's not known what support will be offered to people living in shorter blocks, with suggestions of a Developers Levy, or loans for leaseholders having been discussed.

In the letter, the campaigners demand:

"1. The Building Safety Fund is expanded to cover all buildings, not just those above an arbitrary 17.7m, with funding for all buildings that require it.

2. There must be up-front funding to ensure all buildings that require remediation receive funding not just limited to cladding removal.

3. The Government must finally step in and resolve the building insurance market failure, with a backstop to protect homeowners from exorbitant insurance costs. A fifth of respondents have said they are now paying over £500 per month on insurance alone."