Cladding issues help and support
We understand with all the news surrounding cladding issues on blocks of flats, as a borrower you may be worried that your property is affected. We want you to know as a responsible lender, we will do all we can to help mitigate any financial stress and pressure you may be experiencing because of this.
You may have some questions regarding the cladding issue, so we have provided some useful FAQs. If you own a property that is impacted by the cladding issue, please get in touch with us to discuss options available.
How can I find out the status of my building?
Borrowers should contact their building management company to understand what tests have been done or if a test is scheduled for a building with cladding. In December 2019, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) introduced EWS1 forms (External Wall Fire Review Form) to determine what the external wall on high rise buildings is comprised of, with a view to help lenders adopted a consistent approach to valuing these properties.
As most lenders now require the EWS1 form, building management companies are working with the RICS team of specialist fire safety experts to test buildings up and down the country. However, please note that there is a shortage of specialists able to conduct the tests in the UK, so timings can vary for how quickly a building will be tested and the EWS1 form obtained.
I have a building that is impacted by the issues, what happens when my product comes to maturity?
We are committed to supporting any borrower as much as we can that are experiencing issues. When your product matures and you come to switch products with the Society, we will continue to offer products based on your original valuation.
If you’re experiencing financial difficulty, please contact us to discuss various options of how we can support you.
My property has no evidence of cladding, do I still need an EWS1 form?
Current RICS guidance outlines that an EWS1 form should be obtained for buildings that have more than 25% of the outside cladded. However, there are also other components such as vertically stacked balconies that may also require testing to be done. We encourage borrowers that own a flat to get in touch with their building management company to understand the status of the building and any plans for remediation.
The Government recently announced that buildings under 18 metres do not require a EWS1 form. However, until the Government formally updates its official guidance and removes the advice notice that states all buildings do require a EWS1 form, we will continue to request them where appropriate which is in line with the wider industry and RICS guidance.