Residents in a privately-owned high-rise block with the same cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower have been told they may have to pay up to £31,300 to have the cladding removed.

The Croydon Guardian reported in October last year that people living at Citiscape in Drummond Road may need to pay close to £5,000 per flat to get the flammable cladding replaced.

A spokesman for First Port, which manages the blocks, told the Croydon Guardian in October that the projected costs of replacing the cladding stand at about £500,000.

That number has since drastically increased as First Port now say that it will cost between £1.8 and £2 million.

In the latest letter sent to residents they said: “We know that this work and the costs are unwelcome. However, as your property manager, our first priority has to be your safety.”

With 95 flats affected, each household’s share could be between approximately £13,300 and £31,300, to be paid in instalments from March 1.

In addition, the cost of fire marshals, which have been in place since June and will need to remain until cladding work is completed, may bump up the costs by about £300,000 per year.

Alexandra Blanc, 37, who bought her flat in 2014, said: “This situation has become out of control.

“I received a letter telling me I have to pay more than I earn in one year salary in six weeks for something I am not even responsible for.

“I’m very worried about the prospect of losing my flat. I have contacted estate agents to try and sell it but they told me this flat will never sell under those circumstances.

“My equity has also become negative since this debacle.”

Richard Low-Foon, the father of a 95-year-old resident said: "Why should residents have to pay for what should have never been used in the first place."

"The cladding is nothing to do with us, from what we understand from a lease agreement, the lease holders are responsible."

A hearing at a first-tier property tribunal will take place on February 6 to determine who should foot the bill.

A FirstPort Property Services spokesman said: “We are working hard to ensure residents are safe and supported during what we know is a challenging time.

“We recognise that the potential costs are significant and are committed to minimising them, while putting residents’ safety first.

“As the property manager, we are discharging our responsibilities under the leasehold agreements and working with residents as closely as possible to find a solution to this very complex situation.

“The Government has pledged to offer support to owners and residents of high-rise buildings.

“However, given the pressing need to undertake these essential safety works and the potential costs to leaseholders, we and others in the property industry welcome any clarity the Government can provide on what support will be made available.”

Chief executive officer of the Association of Residential Managing Agents (in relation to building cladding), said this was not a unique situation.
"The safety of residents is always the uppermost concern," he said.
"ARMA also flagged immediately to Government the problem under leases as to who would likely pay for the cost of fire safety remedial works.
“In the absence of alternative funding, it is likely that leaseholders will be legally liable to pay for the cost of fire safety work and also for the walking watches that the fire brigades have demanded. 
"This could easily lead to bills of tens of thousands of pounds per leaseholder."