A drawn out saga over replacing flammable cladding has soured relations between owners of a southern Sydney apartment building and imposed a large financial burden on them.

Yet almost 18 months after their local council ordered cladding to be removed, some owners of the Quattro Apartments at Gymea fear the material they plan to use to replace it won’t comply in future because the state government is still to decide on suitable products. Apart from the financial toll, the saga has divided residents in the 29-unit building, which was completed five years ago.

“We used to have a Christmas party in the back of the building each year and now people don’t talk to each other,” Mr Mawjee said. “By the government putting the onus on us to make a decision, we have 60 or 80 opinions on this. It has caused a lot of bad blood.”

The peak body for apartment owners has accused authorities of blame shifting, more than three years after London’s Grenfell Tower fire exposed the dangers of flammable cladding. “Local councils accuse the NSW cladding taskforce of hounding them to get cladding replaced. Councils are in turn hounding building owners with fire orders and threats of multimillion-dollar fines,” Owners Corporation Network executive officer Karen Stiles said.