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Brighton residents hit with £120k repair bill
A group of residents face a bill for tens of thousands of pounds after insurers ruled a botched repair job had left their homes at risk of collapse.
Construction work has begun to rebuild the outside wall of their three-storey building in College Road, Brighton, after it was declared unsafe in July.
Nearby College Street has also had to be closed for months due to scaffolding.
But now the leaseholders of the four flats have been told that the £120,000 bill to repair the property will not be covered by their insurance company.
It has refused to pay for the work saying the damage was caused during an attempt at renovation.
One furious leaseholder told The Argus that Mark Packwood, the building’s property manager, was at fault.
He said: “We were told that the wall needed repairing so Mr Packwood told us he’d got a builder to do the work.
“A few days after the work started, one of the leaseholders got an urgent call from one of her tenants telling her that cracks had appeared on the wall of her flat.”
According to the leaseholder, who did not wish to be named, the builder employed “two lads” to remove the render from the old bungaroosh walls.
He said: “They just attacked it with pneumatic drills. No wonder they destroyed it.”
When surveyor Philip Goacher examined the College Road flats, he found the work by the builders employed by Mr Packwood had left the wall beyond repair.
And when insurance investigators from B Maule and Company came to visit, they came to the same conclusion and blocked the claim, leaving the leaseholders with a repair bill of more than £120,000.
Last night Mr Packwood insisted the builders had detected the damage to the wall but had not caused it.
He said: “When we repaired the wall, we found it was unstable.
“The surveyor condemned the wall and said we should support it very quickly, which is exactly what we did.”
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