In December 2018, following previous advice given on aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) issued Advice Note 14. ACM was cited as being the ‘primary cause’ of fire spread during the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017. Advice Note 14 related specifically to existing buildings over 18 meters in height that do not incorporate ACM.
Advice Note 14 is now consolidated along with all other notes issued (1-22) as part of a document called ‘ Advice for Building Owners of Multi-Storey, Multi-occupied Residential Buildings. The original advice in Note 14 focused on building owners and ‘people responsible for, or advising on, the fire safety of external wall systems of residential buildings over 18m or above in height’. The advice places responsibility on these persons to ensure that external wall systems on these buildings are safe. For existing buildings, this means only materials that are of limited combustibility should have been used.
One recent problem arising from this advice is that mortgage lenders have been unwilling to lend money on flats in such buildings unless they receive a confirmation confirming what the external wall system consists of. Failure to provide this statement is leading to many potential sales and remortgages falling through, leaving owners and prospective buyers frustrated.
To help resolve this frustrating situation, in December 2019, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the UK Finance Association and the Building Societies Association announced the launch of Form EWS 1.
Form EWS 1 was designed to standardise the reporting of what materials make up an external wall system for lending purposes. The process involves establishing exactly what products have been installed and assessing their combustibility. It is important to remember that this form does not force a building owner to carry out remedial works should combustible materials be present. Its primary purpose is for lenders to assess the suitability of a property to lend on.
The form has to be completed by a suitably experienced and qualified professional. Silver Grey can help you complete an EWS 1 form and provide you with a separate report. The form will be completed by a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fire Protection Association with over 30 years experience in the construction industry. Please contact us if you would like to enquire about this service.
Form EWS1 is a form for recording, in a consistent manner, what assessment has been carried out for the external wall construction of residential apartment buildings over 18 metres in height. It was introduced in December 2019, following lenders requirements to have access to consistent information relating to cladding when assessing mortgage applications on such buildings.
The form has to be completed by a suitably experienced and qualified professional. The certifier of a form completed by Silver Grey will be a member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Fire Protection Association with over 30 years experience in the construction industry.
This is dependent on the size of the building and complexity of the existing external wall system. Please contact us with details of your building for a quotation.
The problem relates to the value of the property. Unless proof can be provided that the property meets the requirements set out by the MHCLG, many lenders just value the property at ‘zero’.