EWS1 form changes and how they affect you

Your home

You may have noticed some changes to guidance about EWS1 forms lately. So how do these changes affect leaseholders and shared owners who want to buy, sell or remortgage their properties?

EWS1 changes

What is an EWS1 form used for?

Lenders and valuers use EWS1 forms to help them decide whether to approve a loan. There are several factors taken into account by lenders, but some may decide whether to approve based on the information included in the EWS1 form.

What has changed in 2021?

In March 2021, new guidance for valuers was published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which stated that the majority of buildings under 6 storeys/18 metres do not require EWS1 forms.

Additionally, in July 2021 a government press release was published stating that lenders should not require EWS1 forms for any buildings below 18 metres in order to decide about lending or remortgaging.

While there is still some discussion about how this new government statement will be implemented, there seems to be a general movement towards less emphasis on EWS1 forms and more focus on a balanced approach to current fire safety regulations.

Does my building need an EWS1 form?

Whether or not you need an EWS1 form to buy, sell or remortgage your home, will depend on several factors. This includes the height of your building, the type of cladding materials used in the external wall, and the individual requirements of your lender.

Most importantly, please talk to your lender to find out what they need from you, early in any lending application process. It is important that you do this before spending money on advice, valuations and other fees involved in buying, selling or remortgaging. We will do everything we can to provide you and your lender with the information you need.

Is my building safe if it doesn’t have an EWS1 form?

An EWS1 form is a set way for a building owner to confirm to valuers and lenders that an external wall system, including any cladding, has been assessed by a suitable expert and whether any works are required to meet fire safety standards.

It is not a fire safety certificate and if your building does not have one, this does not mean it isn’t safe. Thousands of buildings throughout the UK do not have EWS1 forms.

More about EWS1 forms

Watch our short animation to get a quick overview of what EWS1 forms are all about.

You can visit the building and fire safety section of our website for frequently asked questions about EWS1 forms, remortgaging and selling.

Visit the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ website to find out more about EWS1 guidance for valuers published in March of this year.

Read the government’s press release about why lenders should not require EWS1 forms for any buildings below 18 metres.

Support for you

We know that fire safety compliance requirements are causing problems and stress for people who want to move, remortgage or buy more shares in their homes. We want to support you as much as we can, so we’ve set up a free health and wellbeing programme you can access 24 hours a day.