Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th September 2020.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he is making in encouraging the insurance industry to take a more nuanced approach to situations where leaseholders are unable to obtain mortgages or re-mortgage their properties because they do not possess an External Wall System (1) form.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The EWS1 form was introduced by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to assist in valuation of high-rise residential buildings for mortgage purposes. Government does not support a blanket approach that some lenders have adopted through requesting a EWS1 for lower risk properties. There is other information which building owners can provide to lenders and we are working with the sector to raise awareness. We are also working with professional bodies to increase the number of skilled professionals who can undertake external wall assessments where one is required. Lenders have assured the Minister for Building Safety that leaseholders should face no barrier to renewing their mortgage with their existing lender.

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