Residents living in a building encased in flammable cladding will either have to fork out £500,000 or for the Government to provide funding to have it removed, a tribunal has heard.

Leaseholders at Citiscape, two connected buildings holding 95 flats in Drummond Road, Croydon, face huge costs after their homes were found to be encased in the Grenfell-style material.

FirstPort Property Services Ltd manages the development and has gone to a first-tier property tribunal in an effort to make residents pay towards safety works.

It is estimated that the total cost of the replacement will be £2 million, but at least £500,000 is required to strip the cladding, something the Croydon Guardian first reported in October.

Speaking to Croydon Guardian in October Richard Low-Food, whose 94-year-old father has lived in one of the flats since 2004, told us: "Why should residents have to pay for what should have never been used in the first place?

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

FirstPort regional director Paul Atkinson told the hearing: "We have no other funding options.

"I know we have discussed with RBS - but I wasn't privy to that conversation - the bank wouldn't be willing to loan it to us but they would be willing to talk to individual leaseholders."

Both blocks failed fire tests ordered by the Government in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire, which left 71 dead last year.

An initial survey into the cost of replacing the cladding fell widely short of the eventual expected cost at £500,000, it was heard.

FirstPort hopes to claw the cash back through service charges, but at the time of the deadline for last year - September 2017 - they only had the £500,000 estimate to put to residents.

This means full work to replace the cladding post-removal cannot begin until they formally levy the remaining £1.5 million costs, which will happen this year.

"By getting a very sketchy estimate, Firstport has lost a year in time in being to carry out the work," Amanda Gourlay, representing leaseholders, said.

Tenants who deal with FirstPort have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of service, it was claimed, with repairs on a lift taking four years to go ahead.

Ms Gourlay said: "Can you understand that the leaseholders have concerns about what will happen to their money if they pay £500,000 now knowing that the working will not start for over a year after the Grenfell disaster?"

Mr Atkinson replied: "I can understand that some leaseholders might worry, but all service charges are kept in the trust."