Housing associations and councils that want to receive government funding for the removal of aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding must “actively pursue” claims against firms that installed it.
The condition was included in government guidance on how landlords can apply for a total of £400m of funding for the removal of the Grenfell-style cladding.
Any costs recovered through legal action will be repaid to government.
The guidance states: “Where building owners have successfully recovered costs relating to the removal and replacement of unsafe cladding, we intend to recoup (less building owners’ legal costs) the same amount from the funding we have provided.”
The fund will be made available to social landlords for all buildings of at least 18 metres that include cladding systems that have failed fire performance tests. The government has identified 159 buildings that qualify.
According to the guidance, issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the fund will cover refurbishment work using material classified as European Class A1 or A2.
The money will be available in two tranches, with payments made in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.
Applicants must provide initial cost estimates as part of the first stage, where 80 per cent of eligible costs will be paid. The remaining 20 per cent will be paid in the second phase and be available once landlords have submitted final costings.
Costs covered by the fund include: the removal, replacement and disposal of ACM cladding and associated insulation; access costs; labour costs; VAT; and essential extraordinary technical requirements.
The fund will not cover internal works, window replacement, interim fire safety measures or structural works not related to cladding systems.