My building is less than 18 metres high. Why might I be affected by lending issues?
On 21 July 2021, the government announced that they believe EWS1 forms (which help prove to mortgage lenders that a property meets the latest building safety guidelines) should not be needed for lending on buildings under 18m in height.
This may mean that residents who have previously been asked to provide an EWS1 form to remortgage, staircase or sell their home may not now require one, however it is important to note that this is still at the lender’s discretion.
Unfortunately, some mortgage lenders may also deny mortgages to people who live in purpose-built blocks of flats, regardless of the height of the building.
If a mortgage lender is asking for an EWS1 form for a building under 18 metres in height they must let you know why, and specify exactly what their concern is (for example: ‘We think that you may have combustible cladding on your balcony’).
If they have provided this detail, please contact your Property Manager for information about the next steps. If they haven’t, you should query this with them in the first instance.
We suggest you do this by sending them the following in your response:
Based on the guidance provided by RICS on their website (https://www.rics.org/uk/news-insight/latest-news/fire-safety/cladding-qa) not every building will require an EWS1 form – only those with some form of combustible material, making them unsafe, or, for example, combustible material on balconies. For buildings such as mine which are below the 18 metre threshold there must be a ‘specific concern’ for an EWS1 to be required.
This guidance also goes on to state that lenders should “should always have a rationale to justify the request for the EWS1”.
Your request does not include a clear rationale. Please can you provide this or confirm that you will not require this form to be provided.