Here you will find answers to some frequently asked questions about EWS1 certificates, remortgaging and selling your property.
What is an EWS1?
An EWS1 is an External Wall System Certificate of Compliance. A mortgage lender or valuer may ask to see a copy of this certificate.
An EWS1 is issued by an approved fire safety consultant after they have carried out a full investigative inspection of a building. The document details how the external walls have been built and if they meet fire regulations, as well as any issues with the external walls and cladding on a building. Once any repair work needed is completed, the fire safety consultant will issue a replacement EWS1 form which will confirm the building now meets the required fire safety standards.
Lenders and valuers use the EWS1 form to help them decide whether to approve a loan. There are several factors taken into account by lenders, but some may decide to approve based on the information included in the EWS1.
What does it mean if I get an EWS1 B2 rating?
The EWS1 tells lenders if the external wall system of a building was likely to be a fire risk. If the building is proven not to be a fire risk, this gives the lender the reassurances they can provide funding. The form has been endorsed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, UK Finance and the Building Societies Association and its use is now adopted by many mortgage lenders and valuers.
The document will several outcome options, depending on the findings of the intrusive inspection. These include:
- Rating A – external wall materials are unlikely to support combustion.
- Rating B1 - combustible materials are present in external wall .
- Rating B2 - combustible materials are present and repairs are required.
Can you provide the EWS1 form to my lender or my buyer’s lender?
If your building is over 18 metres high and our fire safety consultants have completed an intrusive inspection on your building, we can provide you with an EWS1.
The EWS1 is only designed for buildings over 18 metres high. For buildings below that height, we can provide a copy of our routine Fire Risk Assessment.
Due to the number buildings affected, we need to prioritise high risk buildings over 18 metres. We want to assure our customers that every affected building will be looked at and we will be in touch to let you know when your building will be inspected.
Do I still need an EWS1 for my building?
Following recent changes in government legislation, an EWS1 is no longer needed for some types of smaller buildings. However we still may to inspect these buildings to make sure they are safe. You can contact us if you are unsure if your building needs an EWS1 form.
What if my remortgaging application is refused or my sale falls through?
We know the issues with cladding are causing problems for our customers who want to move, remortgage or buy more shares in their home. We understand this may be frustrating and will do all we can to make this process as simple as possible. Many of the issues are factors that are outside of our control, but we will do everything possible to support our leaseholders and shared owners through this process.
We are unable to compensate leaseholders for mortgage arrangement fees where a transaction has not been able to proceed.
We are working as hard as we can to make sure our affected buildings are compliant and that our residents can sell or remortgage their homes. However with over 500 buildings affected, this will take time.
The situation is affecting people up and the down the country. We want to assure our customers that we are doing all we can to address these issues and come up with solutions to improve the situation.
How will the new guidance for lenders affect my building?
In March 2021, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued new guidance with an aim to reduce the number of buildings for which mortgage lenders ask for fire safety checks, making it easier for people to buy, sell and remortgage these properties. Read our statement on the new guidance.
It will take us several weeks to understand the implications of the new guidance and ensure that our approach continues to provide the best outcomes for our customers. At this stage we will not be making any immediate changes to our priorities and programme of work. We will provide any updates as soon as we are able to.
Who do I get the certification from if A2Dominion is not the freeholder of the building?
Where A2Dominion is not the freeholder of the development, we are working with landlords and managing agents to get the certification of compliance.
Can I sublet my property?
If you are in a difficult financial position and your sale has fallen through because of the issues with fire safety, get in touch with your Leasehold Property Manager. If you are eligible, we may be able to adjust our policy on subletting.
What if I want to buy more shares in my home?
Buying more shares in your home is sometimes known as staircasing. If you would like to staircase and are finding it difficult to refinance, you can get in touch with our Staircasing team. We can work with you to see if we can find a suitable solution.