UK developers said they had to foot the bill for dangerous coating | Economic news

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LONDON (AP) – The UK government told property developers on Monday they had to shoulder the cost of removing the hazardous coatings that have exposed dozens of apartment buildings in danger of fire and thousands of residents facing fire. high bills to secure their home.

The risk posed by certain types of aluminum composite siding was exposed when a fire engulfed London’s Grenfell Tower in June 2017, killing 72 people in Britain’s deadliest house fire since World War II.

Investigators found that the flammable coating had helped the fire, which had started in an apartment’s kitchen, to get out of hand.

Safety regulations introduced since then require the removal of similar dangerous coatings, but work has not been carried out on some apartment buildings due to disputes over who should pay.

While high-rise buildings have been able to secure government funding to remove the siding, low-rise dwellings have not.

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Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove said that in early March developers were to come up with a plan to pay the estimated £ 4 billion ($ 5.4 billion) cost of repairing the coating of low-rise buildings, on pain of legal action and potentially a new tax. to raise money.

Gove said the government “would use legal means, and ultimately the tax system, to ensure that those with deep pockets, those responsible for maintaining these buildings, pay, rather than tenants, individuals, who in the past were asked to pay with money they didn’t have for a problem they didn’t cause.

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