Seven UK lenders will cover the cost of making existing External Wall Fire Review (EWS1) forms publicly available through the Fire Industry Association (FIA) Building Information Portal, trade body UK Finance has confirmed.
These forms, which were introduced in 2019 following government guidance to address the Grenfell Tower fire, are used for mortgage valuation purposes for flats and determine if a property needs cladding remediation. The seven lenders helping to make this information public on the FIA portal are Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander and TSB.
UK Finance says many fire professionals who undertake EWS1 assessments have been slow in adding the completed documents to the portal. Therefore, as well as covering the cost of uploading an estimated 6,000 forms, the lenders have agreed to pay the fees for some 250 fire professionals to register to the portal.
UK Finance’s director of mortgages Charles Roe 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.”
FIA chief executive Ian Moore 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 the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in making this project work.”