THE COUNCIL has indicated it will be taking leaseholders of an unsafe building to a tribunal over the cost of the fire wardens. 

Nova House, Buckinghamshire Gardens, has passed into the ownership of Ground Rents Estate Five, which is owned by Slough Borough Council, after it was discovered shortly after the Grenfell disaster that its cladding was similarly flammable. Reports have circulated online in recent days, claiming that the council intends to make the leaseholders pay for the cladding replacement.

SBC insisted, however, they were only investigating if the leaseholders have to pay for the waking watch that has been placed in the building until it is made fire-safe.

A spokeswoman for GRE5 said: "Obviously the cladding is right on Nova House, but the building actually has a whole series of problems related to its development.

"Paying for the waking watch may be the leaseholder's responsibility, it might not be. That is why we are going to a first-tier tribunal, so we can determine who's responsibility it is. If it is GRE5, then we will pay.

"Before that, however, we are suing the developers and builders of Nova House for the costs. Only if that doesn't work, will the costs potentially fall on the leaseholders. GRE5 will not impose short deadlines on them, if it comes to leaseholders paying we will offer payment plans.

"The confusion arose because we wrote the leaseholders letting them know that the service charges to GRE5 would not include the cost of the wardens – the first-tier tribunal is so we have a clear legal decision on who is responsible.

"We do sympathise with the leaseholders, since they are now involved in a building with flammable cladding and numerous other issues."

Other issues with Nova House include a lack of 'compartmenting', with no fireproof barriers to prevent fire from spreading upwards or sideways throughout the building.