High Rise Flats: Insulation

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 28th January 2022.

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Photo of Florence Eshalomi Florence Eshalomi Labour/Co-operative, Vauxhall

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his oral contribution of 10 January 2022, Official Report column 283, what rights leaseholders who believe that unnecessary remediation work has been recommended for their building have to challenge an EWS1 assessment.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

An EWS1 assessment is as a valuation tool and is not a safety assessment. We have been clear that EWS1 should not be a requirement on buildings below 18 metres. We have withdrawn the Consolidated Advice Note which has been wrongly interpreted and ensure that it is not used to justify disproportionate assessment and unnecessary EWS1 forms.

Where remediation of a building is recommended by an assessor, material supporting this conclusion should be transparent and there should be evidence that alternatives, such as management or mitigation, have been clearly considered. Leaseholders who wish to challenge proposed remediation works should ask their building owner if there is a clear reason why an EWS1 is needed, for example the block of flats over 18 metres high. If the building is lower, an expert panel commissioned by Government, has recommended that an EWS1 should not be needed, although some lenders may still request one. Leaseholders can ask whether costs can be met via warranty or insurance. Leaseholders can also ask the building owner to seek a second opinion from another fire risk assessor.

For free initial advice on residential leasehold, leaseholders can contact LEASE, an organisation supported by government.

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