In February 2019, we were shocked to discover that the building which we live in did not comply with fire safety standards, and that we, the leaseholders have been hit with the bills of up to £25,000 per flat to cover the cost of fixing unsafe cladding and remedial fire breaks on our building.
Despite the government advice, the freeholders (Adriatic Land 3) are refusing to pay for the work and passing a bill of £1.6 million plus VAT (which could potentially rise) on to us residents.
After 18 months of mixed messages from the freeholder, a s20 notice was issued. This essentially gave us residents a deadline of 2/3 months for work to begin, which we would have to pay for. Fortunately, with the help of Manchester City Council, this was put on hold, but a couple of months later, we have been told that we may be forced to pay at any time.
Adriatic Land 3 is known to have links to the owners of our sister property Skyline Central 2 (Long Harbour Ltd). In 2014/15 a survey was carried out on the cladding of Skyline Central 2, which found issues and defects with the fire breaks and construction of the cladding. These issues are the same as found in the survey done for Skyline Central 1 and the issues that us leaseholders are now being asked to pay for in Feb 2019. However Skyline Central 2 never passed on this information to us at the time. If Skyline Central 2 had passed on the information in their 2014/15 survey to us at Skyline 1, we would have been in the NHBC 10 Year Building Warranty timeframe and the works would have been covered.
Construction of Skyline Central 1 was completed in 2006 by the developer West Properties (UK) Ltd. In July 2014 West Properties (UK) Ltd dissolved. The government are asking the developer’s to correct unsafe, poor standard work. However for us, like so many other buildings in the UK, due to them dissolving this is no longer possible and again the law is against us the residents…
Life today for Skyline Central 1 Residents…
After being told we’re living in a building which is just as unsafe as Grenfell, many of us are understandably suffering from huge stress and Mental Health issues. Loss of sleep, anxiety, fear of leaving electricity on and panic at hearing alarms going off are just a few of the issues that have become a daily routine for us. This is before the possible financial implications that we face are factored in.
On May the 9th, the government released a fund that they said will only be available to ACM (Grenfell-style) clad buildings, but buildings like ours, with just as unsafe cladding materials and faulty fire breaks, have been told they will not be covered. This “fund” will fix less than half of the unsafe fire-risk buildings in the country and has created a senseless Cladding Lottery! Tens of thousands of us are still left with not only the mental trauma of going to bed each night with the fear of a devastating fire; but also the anxiety of financial ruin to make our homes safe.
We simply cannot afford to pay this bill. Some of us have considered selling or remortgaging our property. However, this isn’t possible as lenders won’t provide mortgages on properties with cladding issues. We, as owners of these apartments are stuck; living in unsafe properties, which they can’t afford to fix, through no fault of their own and being told that our homes are close to worthless in value.
With support from other members of Manchester Cladiators (to which we are a part of), UKCAG and Inside Housing, us residents of Skyline Central 1 are also joining countless blocks around the country in calling on the government to End Our Cladding Scandal. We’re asking them to do the right thing and put a full fund in place to pay for all works to make unsafe private apartments safe to live in again.
We are all part of the same story and none of us should be left behind.