We issued guidance in relation to EWS1 forms in August 2021. We are aware that a number of resident shared owners / leaseholders, continue to encounter issues in purchasing, staircasing, re-selling or re-mortgaging, as a result of lenders’ ongoing concerns about the safety of buildings and their general requirement to be provided with an EWS1 form of a B1 rating or above in buildings across a range of different heights.
This continues to be a problem facing the housing industry and we remain acutely aware of how frustrating this will be for our residents who find themselves in this situation, some of whom may well be in in difficult circumstances.
Although the guidance issued by RICs remains largely the same, there has been additional guidance issued by the government in the form of the BSI PAS 9980:2022 – Assessing the external wall fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings which we explain further below.
The most up to date RICs advice is as follows:
On the basis of the above guidance, including the updated guidance dated 8th March 2021 issued by RICS to lenders confirming that EWS1 forms should not generally be requested for buildings under 18m in height, Hexagon will continue to follow the guidance and will not provide EWS1 forms for any buildings below 18m.
However, Hexagon’s position remains that, where it can do so, it is happy to provide information about any of its multi-storey buildings below 18m (e.g. latest Fire Risk Assessments) in order to assist with any lender’s queries.
Where Hexagon is to provide an EWS1 form in accordance with government guidance on buildings above 18m and where a fire risk assessment of the external wall (“FRAEW”) is required in support of that EWS1 form, the FRAEW will now be undertaken by in accordance with the recently issued British Standard:
The “BSI PAS 9980:2022 – Assessing the external wall fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings” provides a methodology for the fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing multistorey and multi occupied residential buildings. The BSI identifies mortgage lenders and valuers as a set of people who will be able to rely on a FRAEW undertaken in accordance with BS PAS9980:2022.
We continue to take a planned and managed approach to assessing the fire safety compliance of all our multi storey buildings and we will prioritise those blocks and any remedial work required in accordance with government guidance and the level of risk.
We hope this updated note helps to provide context and clarity to the most up to date position in relation to the guidance on the use of EWS1 forms.