England: Housing association wins £8m claim over cladding defects
An English housing association, Martlet Homes, has won an £8 million claim over defective cladding in the first High Court case of its kind since the Grenfell Tower fire.
Martlet Homes, which is part of the Hyde Group, said that the decision would support other tenants and flat-owners in future legal battles over fire-safety provisions.
Lawyers said that the victory over Mulalley & Co, a building contractor, would be significant for many UK building owners facing similar cladding issues.
Martlet Group claimed Mulalley & Co was responsible for the defective design and installation of cladding at four high-rise blocks of flats in Portsmouth. The contractor denied all liability for losses sustained by Martlet in having to replace the cladding when materials were reviewed across the UK after the Grenfell fire.
At the High Court in London, Martlet was awarded substantial damages for remedial works it undertook to address the defects, The Times reports.
The association was also awarded damages for the costs generated by having to employ a “waking watch”, a 24-hour patrol of the buildings, as a temporary fire-prevention measure.
Andy Hulme, Hyde’s chief executive, described the judgment as “a landmark ruling for the industry that draws a line in the sand and establishes that the costs of defective work must be borne by those responsible for it”.