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The EWS1 Form. A Note of Caution
November 12, 2021

This issue is fraught with worry for many. Lenders and potential buyers of high-rise blocks and developments are increasingly anxious to have sight of an EWS1 Form but their concerns go further than the mere production of the form.

Some potential buyers are unaware that there are different ratings that buildings can be classified with, namely A1, A2 and A3, and B1 and B2.  An A Rating means that the external wall systems or cladding are considered to have a low likelihood of combustion whereas a B Rating means that the external cladding or balconies etc have combustible materials.

An EWS1 Form with a B1 Rating means the fire engineer or surveyor has considered that the fire risk is sufficiently low that no remedial works are required.  However, a B2 Rating means that remedial works are required and the building is not safe.

What problems could property buyers face?

One of the problems that buyers are faced with is that they could buy a property today with say a B1 Rating but in 12 months, the position of the professionals within the industry might change as to what is an acceptable level of risk and the property may become un-saleable or un-mortgageable.

With this in mind, buyers may only feel safe on this issue if the EWS1 Rating comes back with an A1 Rating which provides that there are no attachments including balconies whose construction includes significant quantities of combustible materials. 

For further information about the EWS1 Form, please see the link below to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ webpage:

www.rics.org/globalassets/rics-website/media/news/news–opinion/fire-safety/ews1-form-5.3.21_final_clean2.pdf

Contact our Property Solicitors Today

If you require any specific advice or assistance about EWS1 Forms or any of the issues referred to in this blog, or any other related issues, please contact Muscatt Black Graf by telephone on 0207 586 1141 or by email to contact@muscattblackgraf.com, or fill in our online contact form.

This blog was prepared on 12 November 2021. It is not intended to be advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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