To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to develop guidance for mortgage lenders and insurers to ensure that requests for External Wall Fire Review assessments are not delayed or disrupted as a result of a lack of available qualified fire engineers to conduct inspections.
Assessments of External Wall Systems are required by some mortgage lenders to assist in the valuation of high-rise residential buildings for mortgage purposes. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designed and implemented the EWS1 form in conjunction with mortgage lenders to assist with this. Use of the EWS1 form is determined by the lending policies of banks and building societies. RICS have issued guidance on the use of the EWS1 form.
The Department is aware that there are capacity challenges with the availability of professionals to undertake fire safety assessments of external wall systems. We are working with professional bodies to increase the number of skilled professionals who can undertake external wall assessments where one is required.