Private landlords 'slow to make buildings safe' following Grenfell

Private landlords of high-rise blocks with cladding and insulation that have failed fire safety tests are not moving quickly enough to make their buildings safe, the Local Government Association (LGA) has stated.

The LGA’s safer and stronger communities board chairman Simon Blackburn also said some landlords have been slow to inform residents about test failures.

Responding to the latest fire safety test results announced today, which revealed a wall cladding system consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding with a fire resistant polyethylene filler and stone wool insulation passed the test, Blackburn said: “Councils want to ensure all residents in their local area are safe in their homes, regardless of whether they own the block or not.

“There are concerns that other landlords in some areas are not acting as quickly to inform residents about test fails and lack the urgency shown by councils to identify their buildings with the cladding and insulation systems which have failed the three tests so far and take steps to make them safe.”

He added that the LGA was seeking clarity from government about the powers available to councils to encourage landlords to take such action.

Blackburn also stated that councils could not afford to remove and replace the failed cladding across its housing stock and called for government help.

“We are talking to the councils affected about the costs they now face to remove and replace cladding and insulation systems on their high-rise blocks,” he said.

“With test fails affecting buildings owned by a range of different landlords across the country, it is clear that the current building regulation system has failed. It is also clear that councils cannot afford to carry out this work.

“As a result, we remain firmly of the view that the government needs to meet the exceptional cost to councils of removing and replacing cladding and insulation on high-rise blocks.”

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