UK Finance and BSA expect EWS1 form requests to fall

Jake Carter

March 8, 2021

UK Finance and the Building Societies Association (BSA) expect the number of EWS1 form requests to decline.

However, the organisations believe this will depend on each lender’s appetite for risk.

This response comes following guidance from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which clarified which types of properties will, and will not, require additional inspections due to concerns about fire safety.

Both associations welcome the publication by RICS and anticipate that many lenders will implement this guidance.

In a joint statement, UK Finance and BSA, said: “Those buying a flat should understand that a decision made by a valuer not to require an EWS1 inspection under the new guidance is no guarantee that fire safety remediation works will not be required in the future.

“Government confirmation that it supports the guidance produced by RICS as an appropriate, risk-based and proportionate basis on which to proceed with valuation assessments, in line with the building safety Consolidated Advice Note published in January 2020 is also a welcome and necessary step for lenders.”

A HSBC UK spokesperson, added: “We welcome the new guidance and will be carefully reviewing our policy, taking into account additional guidance from RICS.”

A Nationwide spokesperson, said: “Nationwide is reviewing the RICS guidance and is yet to make a final decision on if it will implement it.

“This is a complex issue where people’s lives and home are at risk which is why we want to take our time to make sure our response is in the best interests of our members living in these properties and those who will be thinking about buying them in the future.

“We already take a pragmatic approach and there is no blanket requirement for an EWS1 form to be provided – it all depends on what fire and safety concerns have been identified by the surveyor inspecting the property.”

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