An external façade review was commissioned by FirstPort who are the external managing agents for your building. FirstPort engaged TriFire Engineers to undertake this review. EWS1 form subsequently issued, with the building being given a B2 rating.
2. Received confirmation of eligibility for funding
We have been informed that the work required is eligible for government funding from the Building Safety Fund. However, the application process is ongoing, and we are not guaranteed to be awarded funding.
3. Submitted further information
We have been working with FirstPort, our managing agents, to submit further information about Empire Square. We are now awaiting a decision and will update you once we have this information.
What are you doing to ensure residents are safe?
While we carry out the more detailed investigations into the remedial work and get on with the work itself, we have taken advice from the fire brigade and our fire safety engineers to make sure that your homes have the right precautions in place to ensure your safety in the event of a need to evacuate the buildings.
We have been advised that at the current time, all the necessary fire systems and procedures are in place.
Timing of the work
We are scoping and planning the work right now, so it is not possible to give an exact time for when the remedial work will start. We will share the exact details of the works with you as soon as we can. This is a complex process involving further detailed inspections, scoping the exact work and tendering for contractors whilst we ensure that we work in a Covid-safe way for everyone.
What should I do if there’s a fire?
If you hear an alarm sounding, you should "stay put" in your home and await further direction from the fire service.
Will leaseholders be charged for the costs of the remedial work?
Your safety is our first priority. As a matter of principle we want to assure you that questions about how building safety remedial work is funded never stand in the way of us getting that work done.
However the costs of the work do need to be funded from somewhere. We will do all we can to protect leaseholders from these costs by seeking to recover these from those responsible for any building defects or from the government if this is possible.
We are investigating the potential to claim these costs from a third party, where this is available.
We are a charitable housing association and the way we are run and how we spend our money is regulated by the government. What this means in practice is that if we cannot find an alternative source of reimbursement for the costs of the remedial work then we have no choice but to seek to recover costs under the terms of your leases. This is because the way we spend our money is subject to strict rules and we are not permitted to write off these costs if there is a alternative option. This is never our preferred way forward and we understand that this may be concerning for leaseholders. We hope that this will not be necessary but it would be wrong not to be clear about the possibility at this stage.
We do not know how much the work is likely to cost at this stage but we are working on getting that information as quickly as possible.
I’m trying to sell or remortgage my home – how will this impact on that?
Further information for leaseholders who are looking to sell or remortgage can be found here.
How can I find out more?
We'll be updating these pages whenever there is new information.