Help for Flat Owners Stuck in EWS1 Trap

November 27, 2020

It’s been widely reported for several months that many flat owners have been struggling to achieve a sale or re-mortgage their property without an EWS1 form in place.  The EWS1 (Exterior Wall Survey) was introduced in December 2019 in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, to identify whether the external wall of a building was at risk from fire from material such as cladding.

Flat owners were then finding that many solicitors and lenders were insisting that an EWS1 be provided, regardless of whether or not their property had cladding.  The problem was then compounded by the fact that currently there is only a very limited number of professionals who are qualified to carry out an EWS1, leading to extensive time delays, plus the surveys themselves are prohibitively expensive.

This situation has now been reviewed by the Government, who have announced that flats in buildings without cladding will no longer need an EWS1 form to sell or remortgage their property.  This agreement was reached between Government and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK Finance and the Building Societies Association (BSA).

This is good news for nearly 450,000 flat owners who have been waiting to sell, move or remortgage their homes.

Further information on this subject can found in the Government’s press release here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-steps-in-to-help-homeowners-caught-up-in-ews1-process

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