The Secretary of State’s announcement on the 10th January set-out a path to addressing the current cladding crisis faced by hundreds of thousands of flat-owners
Fire safety for apartment blocks has been completely reformed since the Grenfell tragedy. Unfortunately for flat-owners, these reforms have resulted in many being unable to sell or remortgage, adding extra stress and financial strain during the pandemic.
An ESW1 form had become essential proof to lenders that a building had been checked by an expert, all cladding meets requirement, and no expensive cladding replacement work would be needed in the future.
Unfortunately, many flat-owners found themselves needing a form even when their building didn’t have cladding, and without it they were unable to sell. Or faced with vast bills from cladding companies to bring their property up to a standard to satisfy the EWS1 form and the lender.
What’s Been Announced
The Secretary of State’s recent announcement to Parliament regarding fire safety outlined the continued commitment to work with surveyors and lenders to ensure that the EWS1 form is required in a decreasing number of valuations, and that thousands of flat-owners are protected from the cost of removing and replacing unsafe cladding in the hope of bringing confidence back to the market.
The RICS had previously proposed a complete overhaul of the EWS1 form system which has been acting as a blockade in the market.
Michael Gove said the aim would be to restore much needed common sense on building safety assessments, after acknowledging that leaseholders are trapped, unable to sell their homes and facing vast bills.
The Secretary of State’s announcement gives reassurance that meeting the needs of lenders while still allowing flat-owners to sell within an acceptable time-frame is a matter of priority in 2022.
For more information on the Governments new plan to protect flat-owners from the cladding crisis click here.
Additional Support for Your Clients
If you’re receiving high volumes of calls from flat-owners struggling with the sale of their property, you can outsource your calls to a friendly and knowledgeable Virtual Receptionist Service. Find more time to be with clients and on site with our telephone answering service. We can handle each call as though members of your own team, dealing with your general enquiries, emailing out necessary literature and even scheduling in appointments. Think of us as your extended team, but without the financial obligations that come with additional staff members, you’re always in full control of when you divert your calls to us, and when you handle them in-house.
For more information contact one of our friendly team on 01273 741400, or visit our website.