Need for EWS1 on low rise apartment?

by Readers Question

9:16 AM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Need for EWS1 on low rise apartment?

Make Text Bigger
Need for EWS1 on low rise apartment?

My daughter is trying to arrange a buy to let mortgage on a ground floor apartment she has recently inherited. The apartment has been let and my daughter needs the money out of the apartment to use as a deposit on a new family home.

The apartment is ground floor in a modern 3 storey block. There is approximate 60 cms cladding running parallel and immediately below roof edge. Unsure of what cladding type is. Daughter has had three applications declined by surveyor requiring EWS1.

The managing agent is not being very helpful and doesn’t seem to have a plan to do EWS1. The freeholder is the local council.

My question is anyone aware of mortgage providers who will consider low rise property without EWS1.

We are using a broker – but thought I might ask for help from those experiencing this problem.

Unfortunately, the planned purchase is going to fall through very quickly.

Thanks

Andrew

Comments

peter styles

10:02 AM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

from my reading of the legislation this requirement is only for buildings over 18 metres . it is not a legal requirement at all on buildings below this and maybe the surveyor is being over zealous .

silversurfer2017

10:10 AM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

If you are really desperate there are cash buying companies around which will buy such properties even with a tenant in situ, but I doubt they would pay you any more than 50% of the best vacant price with an EWS1 certificate.
Your broker might find a lender who will lend without a EWS1 but be prepared for a higher arrangement fee and maybe a higher interest rate. Maybe just maybe the lender of your daughters new family home may be prepared to take the risk.
If you had a lot more time you could contact all the owners of the other flats to put pressure on the managing agents to sort this out but we are looking at several months delay. All the other flat owners will want to sell sometime.

Nigel

10:31 AM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Government keeps saying that any building less than 18m. does not require EWS1 but the surveyors/valuers ignore it and still ask for EWS1. However, look at the latest RICS consultation which came out at the end of last month and in there it says buildings where any cladding forms no more that 25% of the building, there should be no EWS1 requirement. It may take a while before the industry digests the new guidance but it is there.

silversurfer2017

11:03 AM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by peter styles at 18/02/2021 - 10:02
Further thoughts regarding your daughter's proposes buy to let mortgage. If she could manage with just a loan based on 50% of valuation rather 75% of valuation this would appeal more to any lenders who are more risk averse.
18 metres I think was probably brought in as comfortable maximum working height for a fire appliance with a turntable ladder, even in windy conditions. If there is no escape via a staircase residents could be evacuated from windows or balconies. It was stupid of the government to try to include lower buildings at this stage when the biggest danger and problem was for taller buildings, especially when there was a known shortage of qualified surveyors etc. It also made it more difficult even for people in low rise developments to move home.

Laura Delow

13:27 PM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

She should challenge lenders as an EWS1 is not needed. It must be noted that completing EWS1 forms is NOT a legal requirement – despite information coming from
various lenders insisting that they must be completed. They are a condition being imposed on mortgage
applicants by lenders. The legislative requirement is the completion of a suitable fire risk assessment (FRA)
under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Many lenders are insisting an EWS1 be completed on ALL buildings – even those below 18 metres in height, but an ESW1 is not needed for buildings less than 18m high. Where a building is under 18m, then follow the example LB of Camden recommends - to send back a blank copy of an EWS1 form to the lender with the below response:
As per EWS1 form paragraph 1, which states this form is for buildings over 18m and that it should not be used for any other purpose, my building is under 18m so EWS1 does not apply.

andrew pritchard

13:31 PM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

thanks to all who answered.

I am aware of the RICS Consultation - could you post a link as I don't seem to be able to get at the actual document without a login ID to Rics. However this is a consultation and results have not been published - and then as you say may be months before adopted.

The sticking point on this property is that there is some cladding visible Son (who is a builder ) has now seen the managing agents Fire Risk assessment from last year. Building is evidently standard block construction -so whatever the cladding is its outside the skin of the building. However risk assessment says nature of cladding unknown and would need to be inspected - so back into the same loop re high cost and extreme delay.

I will let all know if we have any luck re mortgage - but i think this is all going to take time and new purchase is going to fall through.

regards

andrew

Karen

14:04 PM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has been campaigning to get people other than leaseholders to pay for this.
I think the government dragged blocks below 18m into this in January 2020 with something they came out with.
https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/feeble-government-ministers-bankrupted-hayley-tillotson-and-will-do-the-same-to-thousands-more/?utm_source=Leasehold+Knowledge+Partnership&utm_campaign=274bfec1bb-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_99bed8a4b2-274bfec1bb-85046325

silversurfer2017

19:08 PM, 18th February 2021
About 3 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by andrew pritchard at 18/02/2021 - 13:31
It was just before Covid but with a very good broker got a 60% BTL mortgage through with Leeds BS from start to finish in 3 weeks.

Shining Wit

10:13 AM, 20th February 2021
About 2 weeks ago

Yeah, the government has 'helped' by allocating £5b towards a problem that they know will cost at least £15b.
They know that Leaseholders had no say in ANY of the failings that led to high-rise buildings being built without the necessary fire safety features (like proper fire doors, proper compartmentation, and maybe non-flammable materials/design - typically balconies). leaseholders weren't involved in any part of the decision to wrap the buildings in cladding KNOWN to have the fire-retardant properties of petrol.

Government & MP's know that Leaseholders are innocent victims and that unless they do something Leaseholders will be forced to pay ('only' £30k according to the govt, more like £100k per flat/leaseholder according to media reports).
And, while the sorry saga drags on, leaseholders have to pay for Waking Watch.

The worrying thing isn't the risk of potentially being fried when the block burns down, it is the never ending dread of financial ruin.

Leaseholders can't sell, move or remortgage - or opt out of the works (as a house freeholder could). They are stuck, living in a worthless, potential deathtrap, facing bankruptcy.

Please help #EndOurCladdingScandal


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER

New RICS guidance on valuation of properties with cladding

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More