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Dispute over £2m cladding bill at Croydon blocks due before tribunal

FirstPort Property Services Ltd claim leaseholders should help pay for the potentially dangerous cladding to be removed.

A row over who should foot the £2 million bill to remove Grenfell-style cladding from a housing complex in Croydon will come before a judge on Tuesday.

Leaseholders at Citiscape, two connected buildings holding 95 flats in the south London borough, face huge costs after their homes were found encased in flammable material.

FirstPort Property Services Ltd manages the development and will appear before a first-tier property tribunal in an effort to make residents pay towards safety works.

Both blocks failed fire tests ordered by the Government in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which left 71 dead last year.

It is suspected unsafe cladding contributed to the inferno’s spread, leading to plans for similar panelling to be stripped from the Croydon development.

Official documents say Tuesday’s application will determine the “payability and reasonableness of proposed service charges for major works”.

FirstPort is also asking that the price of employing fire wardens to watch the building full-time – £4,000 per week since the cladding was deemed dangerous – is passed on.

Residents from the tower and adjoining flats have expressed fear they will not be able to afford the measures.

The management firm initially estimated it will cost around £500,000 to remove the cladding, but then dramatically increased the total to between £1.8 million and £2 million last month.

It will also seek dispensation for the consultation required prior to the work.

Judge Timothy Powell will hear the application over the course of one day at 10 Alfred Place in central London.

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