In late December 2019 the EWS1 form was published.
The RICS, the BSA and UK Finance have agreed an industry-wide process, to be used by valuers, lenders, building owners and fire safety experts, in the valuation of high-rise properties to help unblock the deadlock present in the housing market. It has been developed in conjunction with MHCLG (the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The External Wall Fire Review process requires a fire safety assessment to be conducted by a suitably qualified and competent professional and confirmed using the EWS1 Form. It delivers assurance for lenders, valuers, residents, buyers and sellers.
The Review has been developed through extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including fire engineers, lenders, valuers, and other cross industry representatives.
Only one assessment will be needed for each building and this will be valid for five years.
The objective is, as stated on the form:
This form is intended for recording in a consistent manner what assessment has been carried out for the external wall construction of residential apartment buildings where the highest floor is 18m or more above ground level or where specific concerns exist. It should not be used for other purposes. It is to be completed by a competent person with the levels of expertise as described in the Notes 2 and 3 on the form.
The process is as follows:
Valuer instructed by lender.
Valuer checks whether building has an EWS certificate.
If yes – acts depending on certificate content.
If no – the process starts as detailed on the flowchart on page 3 of Form EWS1 (Note: it is the building owner who appoints the expert).