What exactly is a form EWS1?
As a direct response to the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, new regulations regarding the fire safety of cladding on residential buildings have been implemented. In 2018, the EWS1 form was introduced in order to ensure that external wall systems (EWS) were properly evaluated for their level of fire safety.
The completion of this form is evidence that a building with cladding that has the potential to catch fire has had a fire safety assessment. Only structures that are at least 18 metres tall or have more than six stories need to have them.
In order to obtain an EWS1 certificate, a fire-risk assessment of the external wall system, also known as cladding, must be carried out by a competent professional. After that, they are going to sign the EWS1 form. At the moment, individual EWS1 certificates are required to be obtained for every flat in Scotland. This is another aspect that is being examined.
The EWS1 form, which is also known as an EWS1 certificate, is designed to reassure lenders so that mortgages can be offered on flats located within a building that has cladding. This allows mortgages to be offered on flats within a building.
There is a significant difference between a fire safety assessment of the building and the EWS1 form. It is a report that was compiled by an expert in the construction of external walls specifically for the use of appraisers and lenders.
Because of this evaluation, the structure will be given a rating that falls into one of the following categories:
Option A: It is highly unlikely that the materials used for the exterior walls will support combustion. Divided as follows:
There is no cladding that contains significant quantities of combustible material
A risk assessment of the cladding has been carried out, and it has been determined that no corrective works are necessary.
:It is highly unlikely that the cladding will support combustion, but corrective works may still be required.
Option B: The cladding may contain materials that can catch fire. After that, your structure can be:
The risk of fire is low enough that no preventative measures are required to be taken.
The risk of fire is high enough to require that corrective measures be taken.
Is obtaining an EWS1 certificate necessary for my building?
If the residential building you live in is over 18 metres tall or has more than six storeys, then it falls into the category of property that is required to have an EWS1 system. This is the case if it has cladding or a combustible timber balcony. On the other hand, in 2021, the Royal Institute of Surveyors (RICS) published guidance that assists valuers in determining whether or not a building requires an EWS1 form. This guidance was supported by the government. You can view the most recent EWS1 guidance, which was updated in 2022, by going to the website for RICS……
Do I still need to fill out an EWS1 form even though my building does not have cladding?
It should not be necessary to fill out an EWS1 form for your building if it does not have cladding or a wooden balcony. However, you shouldn’t immediately conclude that you don’t have cladding. Cladding is a term that refers to a brick or stone slip external wall system. It may appear that a building was constructed from traditional materials, but in reality, it is a brick or stone slip external wall system. Even some buildings made of brick or stone may be required to submit an EWS1 form if they have decorative panels that call for a fire safety inspection.
When am I required to submit an EWS1 form?
If you are the leaseholder or freeholder of a property in a building that requires an EWS1 form, then you may need it when you are dealing with mortgage valuers, which means when it comes to selling your home or remortgaging with a new mortgage provider. This is because an EWS1 form is required for properties in buildings that require it. Although EWS1 certificates are not required by law, mortgage lenders may insist on having one before they will provide financing for a property located within a building that requires them….
Who is responsible for arranging an EWS1 certificate?
The building’s owner is the one who is responsible for making arrangements for the fire safety inspection and the subsequent EWS1 certificate. Leaseholders, appraisers, and lenders are unable to make arrangements for an EWS1; the legal owner of the building is the only person who has this ability.
According to the Fire Safety Act 2021, a Fire Risk Assessment of a residential building is required to now include any cladding that the building may have. Because of this, if the Fire Risk Assessment for your building was performed more than a few years ago, it most likely did not include the external wall system. An up-to-date fire risk assessment is a requirement that the owner of the building is legally obligated to meet.
How much does it cost to submit an EWS1 form?
The initial fire risk assessment can be expensive, but the exact amount will vary from building to building. Send us an email with the specifics of your building at email@example.com so that we can provide further guidance.
Should I get an EWS1 before I try to remortgage?
It is possible that your lender will request to see the EWS1 form if the building that contains the property you want to remortgage has cladding. It is entirely up to the valuer, who will consult the RICS criteria in order to determine whether or not it is essential for them to inquire about it. The height of your building and the percentage of its exterior that is covered in cladding will be the deciding factors in this decision.
What are the repercussions if the cladding on my building is unsafe?
On the EWS1 form, your building will be labelled as either B1 or B2 depending on whether or not it has unsafe cladding. If you receive a B1 rating, it indicates that the risk isn’t significant enough to call for corrective action. A B2 rating indicates that the cladding must undergo repair work before it can be considered safe
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