EWS1 Requirement for flats

Introduction of EWS2 may bring some level of respite to low rise leasehold flat owners.

EWS certificate was designed to bolster lender concerns about lending to high rise buildings of 18 metres (above 6 storeys) or more that may contain high fire risk external cladding.  Specially any metal composite cladding with unmodified polyethylene fillers.  Lender fears about fire risk including other types of external cladding, not just Aluminium composite material (ACM) , the type that was found at Grenfell Tower has lead to many homeowners in multiple occupancy buildings not being able to remortgage or sell their property. 

This was exacerbated by the general guidance by the Government, extending the  need for fire safety assessment to all types of property included those less than 6 storeys.  The Guidance in January 2020 states that, all building owners will have the responsibility to ensure all buildings with multiple occupancy does not have combustible material in the external structure including balconies.  We at Axess Financial Services found many clients caught on in this net, even those that do not have external cladding. 

Last month came some respite.  On November 21st to be exact, Government issued the general guidance that EWS form is no longer required for buildings with no cladding.  

The EWS is not statutory, but the lenders are still insisting on it as a commercial decision.  A new form of the certificate will be  introduced, the EWS2, for property below 6 storeys.  As the inspection does not involve high level of resources, it is something that will help some homeowners.  

Next battle for leaseholders on high rise flats would be who is responsible for the cost of repair.  Watch this space. 

Help to buy scheme logo

Help to Buy – new scheme from Apr 2021

The current H2B scheme comes to an end on 16th December 2020.  If you have not applied by that time you will need to wait till 1st April 2021 to move in to the new property when the new scheme starts.  However, you can start the new application from that date.  

The new scheme from 2021 – 2023 will only be available to First Time Buyers.  However, it is not clear at the moment if it means only for those who have never owned a property or owned in the past many years ago but no longer home owners.  Some mortgage lenders will consider those who haven’t owned a property for many years to be first time buyer appliance, 

New Help to Buy for First Time Buyers Only.

Help to buy scheme logo

Other important factor is that the value of the property will be capped, based on the region.  Highest property value will be in London and lowest in North East.  

There is no change to the other aspects of the scheme such as level of deposit and is still limited to new builds only.  

To understand the advantages and disadvantages of the scheme, click here.