Ensuring buildings meet updated regulations is a national issue facing all building owners whether public or private. We are working with fire engineers, developers and contractors to ensure our buildings meet the new regulations.
We do not ask residents to pay any of the costs of fire remediation work to the external wall of their blocks, or to balconies where they have been deemed to pose a risk of spreading a fire. This follows the publication of the Building Safety Act, which we know had initially been a matter of concern for many residents.
EWS1 process explained
In 2019, many mortgage providers began to make requests for evidence, certification and information about the safety of external wall systems to high rise residential buildings.
Valuers began to consider blocks without evidence of compliance with the most recent guidance as being of zero value. This meant that many leaseholders were unable to sell or re-mortgage their properties.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors responded to this by introducing the External Wall System 1 (EWS1) form. Obtaining the form confirms the external wall system has been assessed as safe by a qualified professional and provides assurance to lenders, valuers, residents, buyers and sellers.
The majority of lenders now request an EWS1 form to provide mortgages for buildings over 18 metres, but requests for buildings under this threshold are increasing. The government issued advice in November 2020 that EWS1 forms would not be required for buildings without cladding, but, in our experience, lenders still prefer to see an EWS1 form for the building.
In 2022, we endorsed the guidance for landlords on leaseholder requests for EWS1 forms, which outlines best practice for the process itself, how to communicate with residents and how to respond when EWS1 forms cannot be secured. You can read about this best practice on the dedicated webpage.
Looking for an EWS1 form?
You can get a copy of an ES1 form for your building by speaking to your local officer.