It depends on the terms of the lease between the building owner (the freeholder) and the leaseholders.

See this March 2018 decision which considered the re-cladding of blocks of flats and the recovery of costs from the leaseholders.

In this case the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (“the FTT”) decided that the costs of recladding can be recovered from the leaseholders through the service charge and that the landlord’s obligations for “renewing or otherwise treating as necessary” and “in good and substantial repair order and condition” went beyond simple repair as the fire risk from the cladding meant the blocks were not in such a condition.

In addition “rectifying or making good any inherent structural defects” appeared to encompass removing the defective cladding and its replacement with fire resistant cladding.

Please note that this decision does not have to be followed by another tribunal faced with a similar legal issue. Each case is decided on the particular lease and the particular facts.

Sweeping-up clauses

Even if the lease doesn’t say anything about passing on fire safety costs to leaseholders, the freeholder might still be able to.

Freeholders might use something called a ‘sweeping-up’ clause. This could allow freeholders to get leaseholders to pay for a range of unexpected costs.

These costs could include:

More information you might find useful:

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