by: Mary-Anne Bowring/Telegraph
Desperate leaseholders will be forced to live in dilapidated buildings with escalating service charges and falling property values while management firms’ emergency funds are raided to pay for repairs to dangerous cladding. Four years on from the tragedy of the Grenfell fire, a building safety crisis across the country has come to light. Experts have warned that the cost of making homes safe will trigger a new, years-long catastrophe of missed repair works: the “long Covid” of the cladding scandal. Management companies have drained “building reserve funds” – pots built up from service charges to cover basic maintenance costs. These have been used to cover interim fire-safety measures, such as “waking watches”.
Mary-Anne Bowring of Ringley, which manages more than 12,000 properties, said: “Freeholders have binned all other repairs to get the fire safety works done. There are buildings where 100pc of the reserve funds have been wiped out.”
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