Homeowners and shared owners

EWS1 information

Government guidance means that some banks and building societies are asking leaseholders and shared owners who want to staircase (buy a greater share of their property), remortgage or sell their property for an EWS1 form.

What is an EWS1 form and do I need one?

If you are an MTVH homeowner or shared owner and want to sell, purchase a larger share of your property or remortgage, some banks and building societies may ask you for an EWS1 form before they will consider offering a mortgage.

EWS1 form is the approved way for a building owner to confirm to valuers and lenders that the external wall system and any attachments, such as a balcony, on apartment buildings have been assessed by a suitably qualified expert.

Each lender will have its own requirements. Banks such as Santander, Barclays and Halifax have confirmed that they will lend where a remediation plan in place.

You can find out more information about if a lender may ask for an EWS1 for your home here on the Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors website.

An EWS1 form is not a legal requirement and building owners do not have to provide them. In July 2021, the government stated that EWS1 forms would not be needed for buildings under 18 metres. Some lenders (banks and building societies) are requesting an EWS1 form for buildings well below this height.

Why is this a problem for some residents?

To produce the EWS1 form, an intrusive inspection of the building by a suitably qualified person is needed.

These inspections help identify any problems with your building’s construction that cannot be seen by simply looking at the building.

An intrusive inspection involves cutting into the building’s outside wall including any cladding and balconies. It also involves checking the walls in the communal hallways and in residents’ apartments.

After the inspection, if no problems are found, the independent qualified person will then complete and sign the EWS1 form.

What is MTVH doing to help?

We know that delays in mortgage applications are frustrating and are doing all we can to support homeowners and shared owners living in our apartment buildings.

We will provide EWS1 forms wherever we can.

Request an EWS1 form

You can request a copy of the EWS1 form for your home online.

We can only send you a copy if we have one and the form has a passed rating of A1, A2 or B1 – this means no remedial work is required.

If we are unable to provide the passed rated EWS1 form, we can review valuations and provide a letter of Assurance or Landlord Certificate to support you through the application and legal process of your sale, staircasing or remortgaging transaction. These documents are available upon request.

Subletting your home if you’re a shared owner

If you are a shared owner and your home is affected by building safety, we will provide you permission to sublet until the identified remedial work to your home is completed.

If you decide to sublet your apartment, you will not be restricted by the level of rent you charge.

How we prioritise our building inspections

To make sure our highest-risk buildings are inspected first, we are taking a risk-based approach to our inspection program and have carried out building safety checks on all our tall buildings. We continue to inspect our buildings on a risk-based programme.

Government guidance has changed over time, the EWS1 assessment process may recommend remedial work is needed to more of our buildings.

We continue to prioritise remediating our apartment buildings, If further work is needed to your home, MTVH will complete this, prioritising our taller buildings in accordance with our risk-based profile.

If you need more help

If you are worried about the impact building safety is having on you, either financially or on your health please contact us.

A member of the team will refer you to our Support and Assessment Team, who will signpost you to the appropriate agency for further specialist advice and support.

If remedial work is needed at my home will I be charged?

The Building Safety Act brought leaseholder protections into force on 28 June 2022. Read further information about leaseholder protections on GOV.UK. This includes a link to the Government’s ‘Leaseholder Protections Checker’ where you can check whether these apply to you.

MTVH will not be passing on any cost for building safety remediation works to our homeowners and shared owners in buildings above 11 metres or 5 stories in height. This includes any historic costs and costs for interim measures (such as temporary alarm installations and waking watch).

If remediation work is needed to your building, we will pursue the original developer or contractor and any other responsible party to recover costs.

Where we are not the building owner, we will ask the responsible party to do the same.

Can I arrange my own EWS1 assessment?

We will arrange an EWS1 assessment for your home. You can’t arrange one yourself.

Ensuring the safety of your home is a top priority, and we understand that arranging an EWS1 assessment can be a concern. While there’s no legal requirement for building owners like us to produce an EWS1 form, we want to assure you that we take this responsibility seriously.

As the building owner, we are committed to facilitating access to every apartment for any necessary surveys to complete the EWS1 form. We, as the Responsible Person under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, follow legal obligations to appoint qualified experts for the assessment.

Rest assured, we consult extensively with appointed Fire Engineers and collaborate with tried, tested and trusted professionals to ensure the highest safety standards. The EWS1 form, crucial for the entire building, is completed with a letter verifying the assessor’s qualifications, signed by a member of an appropriate professional body. Read further information about EWS1 forms on the RIC’s website.

By maintaining control over the EWS1 production process, we aim to guarantee the safety of all residents and their homes. This approach ensures that our specialist contractors possess the necessary qualifications to assess our buildings to the highest standards, providing confidence in the validity of the EWS1 form produced for your peace of mind.

If I am affected, who can I contact for further information?

We understand that this is a frustrating and worrying time for homeowners and shared owners, we have a dedicated team supporting residents affected by building safety problems in their homes.

Contact us about fire and building safety online.