A year on from the Grenfell Tower block tragedy, more than 300 leaseholders in two tower blocks in the Green Quarter, Manchester, have been arguing their case at a tribunal.
Their freeholder, the investor Pemberstone, has issued leaseholders of Vallea Court and Cypress Place with a demand for £3m out of the blue, following investigations which found that the same dangerously flammable material used on the Grenfell Tower had also been used on their blocks.
After the leaseholders refused to pay, Pemberstone launched legal action against them. In response, the residents crowdfunded enough money to pay for legal advice, but, at the time of the news story, are still unable to fund a lawyer for the hearing.
Speaking to a local newspaper, Fran Reddington, 33, says the community has had no help from the council, the mayor’s office, the government or anyone else, adding that they have effectively been left to fend for themselves.
The two Green Quarter blocks, which are managed by Living City, were built by international development giant Lend Lease, who then sold the freehold on to Pemberstone. The latter argues that under the terms of their leases the residents should pay for any remedial works themselves.
A copy of one introduction letter sent by Lend Lease to a purchaser, however, who had bought their flat directly from them, states that “Lend Lease will undertake, at our expense, to complete any accepted defect that has arisen as a result of either faulty materials or defective workmanship”.
We reported earlier in January this year that residents of a privately-owned London tower block with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower were being forced to pay between £13,300 and £31,300 each in instalments, for replacement panels up to £2m.