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Residents in apartments across the region face high bills to replace defective cladding.

Some leaseholders may have to pay tens of thousands of pounds if they do not qualify for a government bail-out fund.

Many are already facing hikes in their service charges to pay for upgraded fire alarms and fire wardens.

Cladding on tall buildings across the region must be checked after the Grenfell fire in London in 2017 in which 72 people died.

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The first phase of the inquiry into the fire concluded that cladding put on the west London tower block during its refurbishment fuelled the blaze. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing said: “Our priority is making sure residents are safe by removing dangerous cladding as quickly as possible.’Sleepless nights'”We have given £1.6bn to speed up the removal of cladding – and we are making significant progress.” Leaseholder Gary Hall spent his life savings on a flat in the Waverley in the heart of Bristol’s Harbourside development, where the cladding is “defective”.”People are being affected in a terrible way,” he said. “They’re having sleepless nights, all they want to do is buy homes and feel safe in their own homes and not be lumbered with crippling debts.” They hope to hear if they qualify for some of the £1.6bn funds by Christmas, which Mr. Hall said would be the “best present ever”.He has been told that his building – built by Crest Nicholson – is safe to live in. Crest declined to comment, while an agent for the freeholder said: “We have every sympathy with leaseholders. We are working tirelessly both on securing funding and on the wider process to remediate the cladding problems.” In Portishead, the cladding on another Crest development – Ninety4 On the Estuary – is deemed “hazardous”.