Salus Approved Inspectors oversaw construction of 53 Agar Grove in Camden, a block of luxury apartments now valued at £0 after surveyors found the building was moving and “not fit for purpose”.
Leaseholders, who paid up to £900,000 for their homes, have reported leaks, collapsing ceilings, cracked walls and warped doors and windows that longer open or close properly.
Last week, the Ham&High reported that the Government had asked Camden Council consider prosecuting Salus, of Maple Drive in Leicestershire, for “recklessly” or “knowingly” signing off a substandard building.
After another intervention by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), the firm is also being investigated by the Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register (CICAIR).
The body has the power to hold disciplinary hearings and strike firms off its register.
Secretary of State Michael Gove has offered to meet affected leaseholders, who say they have spent over £300,000 on legal fees and have not been able to claim anything under their 10-year warranty.
One, Daniel Bruce, said: “I don’t remember the last time I slept for more than two hours. It’s frozen our lives.”
“We stand a chance of losing everything we own because we can’t get insurance,” added his neighbour Alexandra Druzhinin.
Since appearing in the Ham&High, their story has made headlines in the Sun, the Mirror, the Mail and the BBC.
The Department for Levelling Up has called their situation “deplorable”.
“The department has asked CICAIR to look into the circumstances surrounding the work done at Agar Grove and the sign-off process for that work,” a spokesperson said.
CICAIR would only confirm that it had acted on DLUHC’s request, saying: “CICAIR is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter and is unable to comment on the status of an ongoing investigation.”
Salus told the Ham&High it had not yet seen the surveyor reports documenting the problems with the building, despite requesting them from parties including CICAIR.
But director Stuart Power said the firm wanted to “review the reports, visit site, engage with the owners or their representatives and investigate and make comment accordingly, once we had the relevant information to allow meaningful discussion and comment.”