High Rise Flats: Fire Prevention

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 5th September 2022.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Labour, Leeds Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what advice his Department provides to leaseholders living in blocks where lenders require an EWS1 certificate to progress a sale but freeholders refuse to apply for such a certificate.

Photo of Eddie Hughes Eddie Hughes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

An EWS1 form is used as a valuation tool to inform lenders of financial risk. The Building Safety Act introduced clarity on liabilities for making buildings safe and financial protections for leaseholders. As a result, on July 15th the largest mortgage lenders confirmed that, subject to their normal policy requirements, they will be able to lend on any property that is part of a developer or government remediation scheme or properties that are protected by the new statutory protections, as evidenced by a qualifying lease certificate. This statement can be found here.

Qualifying leaseholders will no longer face bills to remediate unsafe cladding systems on their building, removing financial risk. We are working with the industry to quickly operationalise these changes and expect the challenges faced by those struggling to buy and sell, including the need to access EWS1 forms, will be eased.

Leaseholders should complete the deed of certificate in the Leaseholder Information Regulations to demonstrate they own a qualifying lease and benefit from the protections. Further guidance for leaseholders on the leaseholder protections and completing the certificates has been published by the Department here.

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