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16 January 2024
Landlords in South Bristol have been instructed to replace cladding in Orchard House, Brislington, as it poses a significant fire safety risk, according to a recent residential property tribunal decision. The five-storey building, formerly an office block from the 1960s, was transformed into 54 self-contained apartments in 2018. The tribunal's ruling came after two leaseholders initiated proceedings against Stockwood Land 2 Ltd, citing defects identified by surveyors.
The tribunal, which conducted a remote hearing in November and published its decision on January 15, revealed that the leaseholders, who purchased their flats in 2018 and 2019, respectively, had each filed a separate application under the Building Safety Act for a remediation order. Despite addressing the same issues, the cases were heard together.
A Fire Risk Appraisal of External Walls (FREAW) assessment conducted by surveyors highlighted specific measures required to ensure the safety of the property. These measures include the replacement of infill panels above the windows in the East block and spandrel panels at the Link block with non-combustible materials. The tribunal report emphasised, "Given the findings within the FRAEW, we are satisfied that the defects have caused and continue to cause a 'building safety risk.'"
The tribunal panel issued a remediation order, mandating that the necessary works be completed by June. Notably, Stockwood Land 2 Ltd did not have representation at the hearing. This decision underscores the significance of prioritising fire safety in property management and the consequences for non-compliance in addressing identified risks. Landlords and property owners are urged to adhere to regulatory requirements to ensure the safety of occupants and the broader community.
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