Lawyer facing £70k cladding removal bill could go bankrupt and lose her job if told to pay

16 September 2021, 18:34 | Updated: 17 September 2021, 17:43

Leaseholders could face extremely high bills
Leaseholders could face extremely high bills. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A lawyer fears she could be made bankrupt and lose her job if she has to pay a mammoth £70,000 bill to remove cladding from her building.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Parliament Square on Thursday to demand the Government "steps in" to make their homes safe.

They want the cladding removed from the buildings they live in without facing exorbitant fees to do so.

Steph Pike, a lawyer from Bristol, told LBC she was protesting because she faces a five-figure bill to pay for work to remove cladding from her home.

"If I was asked to pay £70,000 in say 28 days, which I possibly could be, I obviously couldn't afford that – I think I'd have to really seriously consider bankruptcy.

Read more: Grenfell Tower: Council official 'regrets' not asking about cladding fire safety

Steph Pike is facing 70k fine and possible bankruptcy over cladding

"I'm a lawyer – if I become bankrupt I lose my practising certificate so not only am I risking losing my home it's also my career on the line.

"It's an utter shambles – I don’t think anyone knows how to deal with this. Someone really needs to take charge."

The Government has set aside £5 billion to spend on building safety, with £3.5 billion to go to removing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders who live in residential buildings that are at least 18 metres high.

Another scheme exists for smaller buildings.

It said that no leaseholder under the scheme should pay more than £50 a month towards removing unsafe cladding.

The Housing Ministry said: "We're spending over £5 billion to fund the replacement of unsafe cladding in the highest risk buildings and are making the biggest improvements to building safety in a generation.

"We've been clear throughout that building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders – and our new measures will legally require owners of high-rise buildings to prove they have tried all routes to cover the cost of essential safety works.

"Alongside this, our ambitious leasehold reforms will benefit millions of homeowners by ending unfair practices in the leasehold market and delivering on our commitment to set ground rents to zero on new leases."

The protesters took to Parliament Square on Michael Gove's first day as housing secretary, having been given the job in Wednesday's reshuffle.

Cladding Crisis: Leaseholder charged £180,000 bill for cladding

Ms Pike said: "We've been told that the cost to remediate our building is £7.6 million and that's split between just over 100 leaseholders.

"My bill's expected to be around £70,000 and that doesn't even include a waking watch, or the fire alarm or any interim measures.

"I don't know when it's gong to land or exactly how much it's going to be and I don't know whether they're going to charge it all in one go. It's so uncertain."

LBC's Rachael Venables said she also spoke to one person who has been suffering from PTSD and wakes up at night fearing for her family.

Ms Pike said: "It's obviously Michael Gove's first day in his job and I’m hoping he sees what\s going on here today and actually takes note and decides to sort it out."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election.

Former Tory donor John Caudwell backs Labour in General Election

Sir Ian McKellen was taken to hospital after he fell from the stage during a West End performance

Sir Ian McKellen 'looking forward to returning to work' as he thanks NHS staff for help after falling off West End stage

British teen missing in Tenerife after desperately calling friends from 'the middle of nowhere' on night out

Desperate mum of British teen missing in Tenerife 'beside herself with worry' as she flies out to help with search

Mysterious smoking headless torso missing arms and legs dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Horror as smoking headless torso missing arms, legs and head dumped on popular Spanish holiday beach

Hamish Harding ignored warnings over the Titan sub.

British billionaire 'ignored stark warning over Titan sub' as previous record-breaking dive gave him 'false sense of security'

The King and Queen have wished the racegoers the "best of luck" in chasing the "thrill of a Royal Ascot winner".

King and Queen wish Royal Ascot attendees 'best of luck' chasing race winner

Chris Marriott, 46, was helping a woman when they were driven over by a Seat Ibiza car in Sheffield

Father killed by car used 'as a weapon' as he tried to help stranger, jury told

Rugby Union player Connor Garden-Bachop has died at the age of 25 after a 'medical event', New Zealand Rugby has confirmed.

New Zealand rugby player Connor Garden-Bachop, 25, dies after 'medical event'

Mr Sunak was joined by Foreign Secretary David Cameron for the first time on the campaign

Flock of sheep flee as Rishi Sunak and David Cameron try to feed them

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Olympic athletes ‘could die of overheating’ due to 'dangerous temperatures' at Paris 2024 Games

Comedian Victoria Vera Blyth was killed by her husband David Thomas Blyth

British businessman shoots his TV star wife dead in murder-suicide after 'row over her text messages' at Turkey home

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, was brutally attacked during attempted robbery

Tattooed woman in black hunted by police after schoolboy, 12, is attacked walking home from school

A decision not to charge police officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation has been upheld by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Stephen Lawrence murder detectives will not face prosecution, CPS announces

Justin Timberlake has been arrested for “driving while intoxicated”

Justin Timberlake arrested for 'driving while intoxicated' in wealthy Hamptons enclave

Three children went missing after a day at Thorpe Park

Three children missing after day out at Thorpe Park found safe and well by police

Keir Starmer responds to callers about Palestine.

Starmer says he would take 'full part' in resolving Israel Gaza conflict, pledging to recognise Palestine as part of two-state solution