An assessment of external wall cladding of high rise buildings to provide assurance for mortgage applications for leasehold properties in residential buildings over 18 metres.
The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the lenders in co-operation with government officials jointly created the EWS1 system. However, it is not a government-endorsed system. It was launched in December 2019 as a way to assess the external wall safety of buildings over 18 meters. The original advice moved away from blocks of above 18 meters high and now say “building owners” must now check their buildings of any height.
Form EWS1 must be completed by a suitably qualified and competent fire safety professional to prove that the external wall system of a building has no combustible materials in its external walls. Only one assessment per building is required and certification is valid for five years. An assessment of external wall cladding of high-rise buildings provides assurance for mortgage applications for leasehold properties in residential buildings over 18 metres.
Advice Note 14
In December 2018, Article 14 was published to provide guidance, for owners of buildings over 18m in height, on non-aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding systems. Article 14 places the responsibility on building owners to ensure that the external wall systems of their buildings are safe.
EWS is not mandatory; however, if you are planning to sell a property covered by the EWS1 and you do not arrange for an inspection of the external wall systems, it could make it harder for you to sell as potential buyers may be unable to secure a mortgage.