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Home > News > Concerned about cladding? Do you have a claim?

Concerned about cladding? Do you have a claim?

18 October 2017 | Richard Gore

There has been a lot of recent press coverage about cladding systems on buildings, its combustibility, and the health and safety issues this raises. Many are naturally worried about whether the buildings that they are living and working in are safe.

On the other hand, building owners and developers may find that buildings they have commissioned or have developed in the past, now have cladding on them which is considered to be unsafe.

From a legal perspective, this poses an interesting question as to what remedy those people must make to rectify this position, and minimise their costs in doing so.

Whilst relatively untested in the courts to date, it may be possible to bring a claim against the architect or building designer for negligence or breach of contract in failing to identify or prevent the use of such materials on the building, as is their professional responsibility. This will, of course, depend on the timings of the design, build, and change in recommended building regulations.

The common term applied to dangerous materials in construction contracts is “deleterious materials”, meaning materials that may fail or cause harm to individuals. In most cases this is likely to cover new materials where the risks and effects of the material are not known immediately. The obvious analogy is asbestos, which was widely included in buildings in the 1960s and 1970s, and where the dangers has only later became apparent.

In most cases, there may well be a clause in the building contract that covers such situations or a warranty from the manufacturer that can be enforced. There may also be a claim against the professional for not complying with their duty of care and carrying out appropriate checks before endorsing the use of the product.

Any concerns about the building that you own, manage, have designed, or dwell within can be upsetting and costly. If you are concerned about your position and would like us to carry out a review of your options, then please contact our expert Construction Team.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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