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Saving For a Space Ship

Grenfell Tower Fire Domino Effect & Ripples Making Some Lose Homes

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I know of caretakers who have lived in empty commercial buildings for many years.  The owners let them live for free, or charge a peppercorn rent, to stop thief's stealing the metal pipes and wire or squatters getting in.

Recently, these caretakers have been given notice by the owners (usually large public / private orgs / corps ) as they are worried about health and safety or liability issues stemming from a knock on effect of the Grenfell fire.

Insurance co's may make extra demands for expensive works to be done 

The cost of making an upgraded fire resistant flat in these premises may be very expensive, so they leave them empty. Ironically this leaves them open to thieves & squatters breaking in, which causes another level of laibility.

This seems like a massive over reaction  

Does anyone know of any similar ripple effects from Grenfell, apart from the obvious cladding issues ?  

 

 

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1 hour ago, fru-gal said:

Surely if that is the case then many tower blocks will need to be emptied because they are a hazard risk and cannot be insured or insurance/maintenance is too much to make it cost effective.

What will happen is that these kind of arguments will be used to justify (social housing) estate demolition whereby an old and costly estate is torn down and a new estate (with many extra private homes for sale) is built in partnership with a private company so that the council can not only have more private homes that pay council tax into their coffers but either more "affordable" housing is built to satisfy those that say this causes the loss of cheaper housing or no affordable housing is built and the councils get to pass their low income tenant problems onto another place. 

Good points.

Some of these properties are listed buildings, which cannot legally be demolished 

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1 hour ago, fru-gal said:

Some are but several have managed to get approval for estate demolish of buildings which are considered iconic such as the Robin Hood Estate and the Heygate Estate. If there is money involved there is a way for those with money and power to demolish even listed buildings. 

Sorry, I was not quite clear. I meant that the caretakers that I know of, have been asked to leave listed buildings. 

I take your point though, but it is very difficult to get listed building demolished , especially as they can be forced to rebuild them.

The problems with very old listed building are that they often have no proper fire alarm / escape systems compared to modern building, or cost a fortune ( (due to listing extra expense ). So its increasingly easier to leave them empty.

 

Another Grenfell knock on effect was the sheds in poplar ..

 Sheds 'pose fire risk' post-Grenfell, says housing association

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-41903417/sheds-pose-fire-risk-post-grenfell-says-housing-association

This could also help the  council / HA reduce the beds in sheds problem. 

     

 

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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18 minutes ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

Sorry, I was not quite clear. I meant that the caretakers that I know of, have been asked to leave listed buildings. 

I take your point though, but it is very difficult to get listed building demolished , especially as they can be forced to rebuild them.

The problems with very old listed building are that they often have no proper fire alarm / escape systems compared to modern building, or cost a fortune ( (due to listing extra expense ). So its increasingly easier to leave them empty.

 

Another Grenfell knock on effect was the sheds in poplar ..

 Sheds 'pose fire risk' post-Grenfell, says housing association

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-41903417/sheds-pose-fire-risk-post-grenfell-says-housing-association

This could also help the  council / HA reduce the beds in sheds problem. 

     

 

I think a hard enforcement of visa rules and only allowing non uk nationals with work and who csn support thrmsrlves with no recourse to benefit would help prevent Grenfell.

Oh, and cracking down on council sublets - all benefits stoped, right to remain uj removed snd on the first plane back to wherever.

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14 hours ago, spyguy said:

I think a hard enforcement of visa rules and only allowing non uk nationals with work and who csn support thrmsrlves with no recourse to benefit would help prevent Grenfell.

Oh, and cracking down on council sublets - all benefits stoped, right to remain uj removed snd on the first plane back to wherever.

This. To me it's obvious that creating a dependent client state on welfare was the primary cause of the deaths. Surely housing would be much better if everyone owned their own house and looked after it properly.

It's a bit like how the Guardian harp on about the housing crisis and low wages whilst ignoring the affect immigration has had on these two issues.

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Making buildings safe to live in should be applauded.......like PAT testing, Gas and Electrical certificates, plenty of rules and regulations to comply with until it comes to safety fire regulations in tall buildings where many people live on top of each other, where fire can and is a danger to life......strange that.;)

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6 hours ago, winkie said:

Making buildings safe to live in should be applauded.......like PAT testing, Gas and Electrical certificates, plenty of rules and regulations to comply with until it comes to safety fire regulations in tall buildings where many people live on top of each other, where fire can and is a danger to life......strange that.;)

We will have to wait years for the Inquiry to report, but it looks very likely to me that the original tower built in 1974 of concrete was designed to be virtually fireproof i.e. if there was a fire outbreak it would be confined within the concrete box of a single flat, and not be able to spread. You can have as many certificates and rules you like, but if an essentially fireproof building is subsequently clad in a combustible material (intended as thermal insulation), this shows a basic lack of good old common sense on somebody's part.

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13 hours ago, onlooker said:

We will have to wait years for the Inquiry to report, but it looks very likely to me that the original tower built in 1974 of concrete was designed to be virtually fireproof i.e. if there was a fire outbreak it would be confined within the concrete box of a single flat, and not be able to spread. You can have as many certificates and rules you like, but if an essentially fireproof building is subsequently clad in a combustible material (intended as thermal insulation), this shows a basic lack of good old common sense on somebody's part.

Absolutely......they were relatively safe before the cladding was attached to the side, was that for aesthetic reasons or for thermal reasons?.........how many other buildings have similar substances put onto them? How can people living or working or staying in these buildings feel safe?;)

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4 minutes ago, winkie said:

Absolutely......they were relatively safe before the cladding was attached to the side, was that for aesthetic reasons or for thermal reasons?;)

If you are a Corbynista, you will believe it was for aesthetic reasons. If you are a climate change sceptic, you will believe it was to save a few CO2 molecules. Take your pick.

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4 minutes ago, onlooker said:

If you are a Corbynista, you will believe it was for aesthetic reasons. If you are a climate change sceptic, you will believe it was to save a few CO2 molecules. Take your pick.

.......created jobs, very many more than expected, removing and replacing what shouldn't have been attached in the first place.....that hasn't saved lives or money.;)

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11 minutes ago, onlooker said:

If you are a Corbynista, you will believe it was for aesthetic reasons. If you are a climate change sceptic, you will believe it was to save a few CO2 molecules. Take your pick.

I'm pretty sure that neither aesthetics nor energy efficiency compel you to use flammable materials instead of non-flammable materials. 

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2 minutes ago, BuyToLeech said:

I'm pretty sure that neither aesthetics nor energy efficiency compel you to use flammable materials instead of non-flammable materials. 

You are absolutely right, but AIUI (subject to revision based on the public enquiry). material was used which met current building reg specification, but which was combustible, especially when combined with the chimney effect of the outer weatherproofing/aesthetic cladding. I am not a builder/architect/safety officer, so I cannot say whether using e.g. glass wool would have been practical in the circumstances. However, somebody's head will roll for this - probably somebody in the testing/building regs industry.

That and a directive to do better in future and spend huge amounts on advanced sprinkler systems etc.

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16 hours ago, onlooker said:

We will have to wait years for the Inquiry to report, but it looks very likely to me that the original tower built in 1974 of concrete was designed to be virtually fireproof i.e. if there was a fire outbreak it would be confined within the concrete box of a single flat, and not be able to spread. You can have as many certificates and rules you like, but if an essentially fireproof building is subsequently clad in a combustible material (intended as thermal insulation), this shows a basic lack of good old common sense on somebody's part.

Sadly something that we did before - see the disaster in the Isle of Wight, but we have not learned from it.

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5 minutes ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

 Residents of tower with Grenfell-style cladding told they must foot £2m bill

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/17/citiscape-croydon-2m-recladding-bill-prompted-grenfell-disaster

£31k per flat. That's nothing! Flats in London earn that every 6 months anyway...

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12 hours ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

 Residents of tower with Grenfell-style cladding told they must foot £2m bill

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/17/citiscape-croydon-2m-recladding-bill-prompted-grenfell-disaster

That heading is misleading. It’s not the residents but the leaseholders who’ll have to foot the bill. There’ll be plenty of landlords having to pay up in such a building.

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On 19/12/2017 at 11:09 AM, iamnumerate said:

Sadly something that we did before - see the disaster in the Isle of Wight, but we have not learned from it.

Isle of Man? Summerland?

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2 hours ago, Castlevania said:

That heading is misleading. It’s not the residents but the leaseholders who’ll have to foot the bill. There’ll be plenty of landlords having to pay up in such a building.

Perhaps, but I would guess most of lease holders are residents. Certainly. several are mentioned in the article  

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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54 minutes ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

Perhaps, but I would guess most of lease holders are residents. Certainly. several are mentioned in the article  

In a tower block like that one, I doubt it. It's the standard sort of place investors would buy off plan. The whole article has been designed to create outrage and to think of the poor people. If you rented off a landlord then you wouldn't be liable to contribute a penny.

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8 minutes ago, Castlevania said:

 If you rented off a landlord then you wouldn't be liable to contribute a penny.

And if you felt unsafe, you'd be free to move and let the LL eat the voids as well as the big bill.

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1 hour ago, Castlevania said:

In a tower block like that one, I doubt it. It's the standard sort of place investors would buy off plan. The whole article has been designed to create outrage and to think of the poor people. If you rented off a landlord then you wouldn't be liable to contribute a penny.

hmm, but isn't there an issue that basically a very wealthy man owns the freehold and presumably then getting rent for doing nothing?

Not saying the owners of the flats should not pay for upgrades/maintenance. But then what is the freeholder providing in return for the rent he presumably gets? Why not just sell all the properties as freehold in that case?

 

 

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The freeholder owns the building/land, the leaseholder own the right to live there, sell it, pay the service fees to maintain the building whilst the lease is valid usually from any number to 999 years......so rightfully imo the building owner the freeholder should pay the cost of improving/safety of  the building......;)

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22 hours ago, Saving For a Space Ship said:

 Residents of tower with Grenfell-style cladding told they must foot £2m bill

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jan/17/citiscape-croydon-2m-recladding-bill-prompted-grenfell-disaster

It will be interesting to see how the 6 Feb tribunal decides. It just looks like if the cost of running the building is lower than initially priced for, the landlords win; if the cost is higher (as it is in this case), the leaseholders lose.

What if this was one of those lease examples with doubling service charges every few years?  Would leaseholders still need to foot the bill even if landlord was sitting on huge profits? 

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  Safety test on Grenfell insulation inaccurately described, says manufacturer

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/home/home/safety-test-on-grenfell-insulation-inaccurately-described-says-manufacturer--54368

Quote

Celotex RS5000 insulation, made from polyisocyanurate (PIR), was used on Grenfell as part of the cladding and insulation system on the outside of the building. Celotex has said this product passed official safety tests before being marketed for use on high rises in 2014.

But in a statement posted online yesterday the insulation company said there were “differences between the system as tested… and the description of that system in the report of the test”.

“These differences were carried through into our marketing of RS5000,” it added. At least 71 people died when flames ripped through Grenfell Tower in June last year. Police later said tests on the insulation material showed it “combusted soon after the tests started”.

Celotex suspended supply of the product shortly after the fire, a suspension which remains in place. READ MORE BRE withdraws safety test result for Grenfell insulation BRE withdraws safety test result for Grenfell insulation Cladding tests questioned by insulation firm Cladding tests questioned by insulation firm Insurers' cladding tests contradict government results on fire breaks Insurers' cladding tests contradict government results on fire breaks LGA calls for government clarity after ‘shocking’ fire test revelations LGA calls for government clarity after ‘shocking’ fire test revelations The statement posted online yesterday did not explain what the differences between the test and its description were, or whether these were relevant to fire safety.

It said: “Our priority is to establish whether there are any safety issues arising from these differences. We have notified the relevant bodies and are taking steps to speak with our customers. We are arranging further testing which will assist in clarifying the issue. “It is a matter of real regret for us that this issue has arisen: we fully recognise its potential seriousness and that it will give rise to concern.

We are working hard to arrange the further testing as quickly as possible and we will make a further announcement once the results of that testing are available.” According to Approved Document B, the government’s official guidance on building regulations, insulation products must either be of “limited combustibility” or pass a fire test before they are cleared for use on high rises.

https://news.sky.com/story/safety-report-on-grenfell-insulation-had-errors-11232492

Edited by Saving For a Space Ship

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