EWS1 FORM - SURVEYS
Updated: Feb 28
The Grenfell fire was a disaster and has had a huge impact on those living in not only 'high rise' apartments, but a large number of people living in low rise buildings too. The Hackit Report (Building a Safer Future) has generated a lot of interest in the property profession, in paticularly those involved in the residential sector where valuations have been affected due to the uncertainty around remediation costs. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have since developed, around December 2019, a bespoke form for use by those Competent Persons who have inspected the building and concluded the type of materials present in the external walls and cladding systems. You can view a copy of an EWS1 form HERE.
So what is the EWS1 Form
When a building is suspected to be of an age, construction type and/or has certain features, inclduing external wall cladding, combustible materials in balconies, etc.. a Mortgage Lender may require that an External Wall Survey (EWS) is carried out by a Compentent Person, i.e. someone who has Professional Qualifications and experience sufficient to 'sign off' the building as compliant or not. The EWS1 form is intended to provide a consistent, industry wide, system to record the assessments that have been carried out on residential buildings above 18 metres in height and/or where there are specific concerns about materials used on or within (such as cavity insulation, barriers, etc.) a particular building.
The RICS have qualified Chartered Surveyors who are experienced in providing the EWS1 forms in line with requirements as defined in their guidance available here RICS guidance. The EWS1 inspection is not confirmed to individual units, but is based upon an inspection of the whole building, along with other factors affecting it such as access for Fire Services, etc... The Building Owner and/or Manager (likely to be considered the Competent Person) is the person whom instructs the ESW1 Surveyor to complete the inspection and provide the form, albeit the costs of this may be transferable to individual owners in a building via the Service Charge provisions in the lease or other documents.
For further information on EWS1 Surveys and Forms, check out this guidance and FAQ's HERE