Important revelations from this morning's Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

The London Fire Brigade sent the Conservative Party (and all other parties) a letter outlining concerns with the quality of resi construction and widespread compartmentation deficiencies that threatened stay put
A similar letter was also sent to Gavin Barwell, the then housing minister, in April 2017 which highlighted concerns around 'contractor competency' when it came to residential construction and how this affected compartmentation deficiencies
This is important because....
1) The Grenfell Tower experienced a 'total failure of compartmentation' on the night of the fire, and despite this a stay put policy remained in place
2) Pretty much every leaseholder embroiled in the building safety crisis that I have spoken to over the last four years is dealing with some form of compartmentation issue, such as missing or defective cavity barriers etc
3)These c'mentation concerns have not been discovered as a result of the the Grenfell Tower fire. Many people were aware of them well before, and this was being communicated to gov. In addition to the letters above, LFB carried out a report specifically into this. From 2016👇

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More from @JSimpsonjourno

25 Nov
🚨Grenfell morning round-up🚨
Pretty explosive evidence this morning as Danny Cotton, former London Fire Brigade Commissioner, answered questions around how aware the organisation was about growing building safety issues and the LFB's preparedness to tackle them. Thread🧵
Evidence began with a focus on an analysis piece that was shared between LFB directors, including Ms Cotton, about a cladding fire in Dubai.

The article included a line that seemed to indicate that similar fires couldn’t happen in the UK because of stricter building regs
QC Millett probed Ms Cotton, who was LFB operational assurance head at the time, on how aware she was of the issues around the growing prevalence of external wall fires in UK. She said that she was not and that it was the LFB’s 'fire safety' unit which was responsible for this
Read 24 tweets
24 Nov
📰Today’s @insidehousing headlines📰
👉'Pointy stick of regulation will not fix social housing'
👉Evacuated Clarion tenants could wait a year for new homes
👉Two large G15 landlords breach rent standard
@insidehousing It would appear the stamp duty holiday has had a significant impact already on the number of houses being bought. Latest HMRC figures have found the volume of house sales fell by 52% in October, in what is being called the most subdued October in a decade…
@insidehousing Good analysis in here about the move towards longer term mortgages. With 158 different 10-year+ products on the market, there is growing appetite. After one mortgage firm launched a 40-year fixed rate policy, will others will follow suit?…
Read 7 tweets
23 Nov
📰Today’s @insidehousing headlines📰
👉Hyde appoints banking MD as new CEO –
👉Smoke alarms to become mandatory in social homes –
👉EWS crisis caused by 'overreaction' to gov guidance -
@insidehousing How much did homebuyers benefit from the stamp duty cut? The results are in, and it was a huge £6bn.
And who were the beneficiaries? Well, those in high price areas, with half of those to receive the benefit buying homes worth more than £500k.…
@insidehousing Y'day saw Labour and Plaid Cymru reach a co-op deal for the next three years. While plans for a national contractor was eye-catching, @thetelegraph highlights an additional cost that could hit second homeowners after proposed council tax changes…
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
I'm going to be covering this session 👇 this afternoon, looking at the Building Safety Bill. Follow me for any updates
This afternoon we hear from Ken Knight, the chair of DLUHC's independent fire expert panel, and Dame Judith Hackitt, chair of post-Grenfell independent fire safety review, and now chair of Industry Safety Steering Group and board overseeing creation of Building Safety Regulator Image
Dame Hackitt says it is important the whole of the industry adopts new approach. Says early adopters show it is possible to make these changes but there are too many ‘hangers back’
Read 25 tweets
4 Aug
EWS latest: Government has called for all EWS checks on buildings under 18m where remediation has been recommended to now be reviewed.

Expert advice says result should be changed if it is felt initial judgement is not “proportionate or cost effective”.…
Is in response to RICS stating that buildings with EWS are still likely require remediation even after gov announcement. RICs says valuers must take into account all known information that would affect a value.Or in other words, you can’t wish away an EWS.…
The gov has advised that the reviews should be carried out by competent professionals. I've asked what qualifications ‘competent professionals’ will need. Waiting on a response.

If anything like the current EWS rules, do we not face just replaying the last 18 months?
Read 11 tweets
2 Aug
Just read this excellent @FT investigation. Service charge transparency is a huge issue for leaseholders. I've spoken to dozens of flat owners in recent years who have had to pay towards a lift they cannot use, a gym they cannot access, or a concierge service that doesn't exist.
@FT Have often wanted to try and pull together a list of the most random/ridiculous things listed in people's service charge breakdowns. Things like this👇. If anyone has any particularly bizarre things they have been charged for, drop me a DM.…
@FT There are definitely issues with both social housing landlords and private landlords/management companies. From my experience it does often seem harder for leaseholders to challenge private companies over charges. But this is just from those leaseholders that I have spoken too.
Read 4 tweets

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