Seven mortgage lenders have pledged to cover the cost of making existing EWS1 cladding forms publicly available through the Fire Industry Association (FIA) Building Safety Information Portal, according to UK Finance.
The lenders are Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Santander and TSB.
EWS1 forms are used for mortgage valuation purposes for flats and determine if a property needs cladding remediation work.
They were introduced in 2019 following government guidance to address the Grenfell Tower fire.
The FIA portal was created to host completed EWS1 forms and make them publicly available, but many fire professionals who undertake EWS1 assessments have been slow in adding the completed documents to the portal.
As well as covering the cost of uploading an estimated 6,000 existing forms, the seven lenders have also agreed to pay the fees for some 250 fire professionals to register on the portal.
This collaboration aims to ensure that everyone, including homeowners, prospective buyers, valuers and lenders, can easily access a building’s EWS1 form through a central portal.
Charles Roe, director of mortgages at UK Finance, said: “These forms are vitally important for anyone looking to buy, sell or remortgage homes in a multi-storey building.
“The financial backing and support of the seven lenders is a positive step to keep the housing market moving for flats and apartments.
“In addition, it will improve transparency and access to building safety information for everyone involved in the home-buying process.”
Ian Moore, chief executive of the FIA, added: “We offered to set up the Building Safety Information Portal as a repository to make it easier for the public to find EWS1 forms for their buildings.
“In addition to this are the checks to ensure the person who surveyed the building and completed the EWS1 form is who they say they are, have the correct qualifications / credentials, and that the form has been completed correctly.
“Accessibility to accurate information is well overdue and this portal will go some way to solving that. Finally, a huge thanks to UK Finance, the mortgage lenders and RICS in making this project work.”