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Waking watch fund not retrospective and limited to high rise blocks

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  • 12/01/2021
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Waking watch fund not retrospective and limited to high rise blocks
Ministers have revealed the government’s waking watch fund to help people living in properties with flammable cladding will only be available on high rise buildings and will not be retrospective.

 

This means leaseholders who are not responsible for the poor building quality and have already paid significant sums of money to help remedy the situation will not be able to claim the costs back.

The £30m fund was announced in December to help end the need for buildings with dangerous cladding to maintain waking watch wardens to look out for fires.

It will pay for the installation of fire alarm systems to replace these wardens which have proved highly expensive in many circumstances with leaseholders often stuck having to bear the costs.

In the fallout from the Grenfell Tower disaster three years ago, it was revealed that many buildings around the country were not fire safe and so would need to employ round-the-clock wardens to ensure residents could be warned of and evacuated in the event of a fire.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher confirmed the conditions of the fund in a series of answers to questions posed by Labour MP for Vauxhall Florence Eshalomi.

Pincher said the criteria for eligible claims would be high-rise buildings in the private and social sector of over 18 metres in height with unsafe cladding systems where there is a waking watch in place with costs being passed on to leaseholders.

“We will work with local authorities and fire and rescue services on the delivery of the fund and expect to publish a prospectus with further information on eligibility criteria and evidence requirements in January,” he said.

In another answer, Pincher added the fund will not cover retrospective costs where waking watch services are no longer in place because alarms had been installed prior to the 17 December fund announcement.

“The purpose of the fund is to incentivise the purchase of alarm systems in buildings where there is currently a waking watch in place and there is no common alarm system,” he said.

 

 

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