Three years ago, I bought a house on a Grade II listed property, renovated by developer Urban Splash. Each apartment is a two story maisonette with floor to ceiling windows. At the time of purchase, there was a series of spontaneous breaking of windows and an investigation found that the cause was a “material failure of glass related to the inclusion of nickel sulfide (NiS)”.
To date, there have been 14 cases of windows breaking and Urban Splash has paid for replacements. I have now received a letter from Urban Splash stating that after December 31, it will no longer be responsible for glass failures, while requiring "historical construction insurance charges" due to a mistake made by the service collection team. .
Consultations have been made on a separate insurance claim, but it appears that this is not an insurable risk. Currently, there is responsibility for any future glazing failure with the tenants. The cost of new glass would be relatively affordable, but installation requires a crane and specialized equipment that would be completely inaccessible.
NiS occurs in the tempered glass melting process when nickel-containing contaminants react to sulfur in the furnace fuel. Urban Splash admits that the windows of Park Hill in Sheffield have been broken and that NiS is to blame, but says there is no way to remove or insure the risk.
"NiS is a rare but accepted anomaly in glass manufacturing and therefore there is no guarantee available against breakage of this phenomenon," he says. “Buildings that benefit from tempered glass windows generally do not require developers to provide a guarantee or insurance against such events, however, as a gesture of goodwill, Urban Splash has covered the cost of these breakages with a 10-year warranty. – something that should end in December 2019. "
This, he says, has nothing to do with the demand for construction insurance arrears. He forgot to charge residents and reduced the amount by 25% as a gesture of goodwill.
Following the Grenfell tragedy, the lower court considered several cases related to a landlord's right to recover from tenants the cost of replacing the flooring. The ITF has decided that if the lease allows the landlord to recover these costs and due process is followed, the tenant will have to pay. Unfortunately, this is likely to apply to you. According to Thomson Snell & Passmore's Alison Sparks, residents can use the 1972 Disabled Facilities Act (DPA) to claim inherent defect repair costs. This requires developers and installers to complete homes to an appropriate standard and hold them responsible for any failure for up to six years. Otherwise, as unfair as it may seem, you and your neighbors are likely to have to pay bills for future disruptions through your service charge.
If you need help, email Anna Tims at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number. Submission and publication are subject to our terms and conditions
. (tagsToTranslate) Money (t) Consumer Business (t) UK News (t) Consumer Spending (t) Consumer Rights (t) Property (t) Business