Landlords who own leasehold properties in low and medium-rise apartment blocks affected by the cladding scandal will no longer have to supply an EWS1 form when selling or remortgaging their properties, the government has announced.

Thousands of landlords who have been unable to sell or re-finance their properties following the Grenfell tragedy will now be unlocked after an official report commissioned by the housing secretary Robert Jenrick tasked with looking at medium and lower-rise apartment blocks reported that there is ‘no systemic risk of fire in these blocks of flats’.

Jenrick says he is now working with lenders to ensure they don’t require the controversial EWS1 cladding forms when dealing with leaseholders wishing to sell or re-mortgage their properties.

Landlords seeking to sell up will also have a larger pool of buyers interested in their properties as the new rules will apply to those buying flats in these blocks too.

“Today’s announcement is a significant step forward for leaseholders in medium and lower-rise buildings who have faced difficulty in selling, anxiety at the potential cost of remediation and concern at the safety of their homes,” says Jenrick.

“While we are strengthening the overall regulatory system, leaseholders cannot remain stuck in homes they cannot sell because of excessive industry caution, nor should they feel that they are living in homes that are unsafe, when the evidence demonstrates otherwise.”

Key lenders

Three key high street lenders have already signed up to stop requiring EWS1 forms including HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds with others expected to follow.

But property management giant Ringley has warned that, although this is the ‘right decision’, many leaseholders have spent huge sums paying surveyors to produce the EWS1 forms they were told were needed.

“The question now is who will compensate them, and of course, what is to be done about those living in buildings 18 metres or higher,” says MD Mary-Anne Bowring.

Read more: Landlord reveals nightmare of being caught up in building safety scandal


  1. It must be presumed that ALL flats have construction defects.

    This has been proven to be the case following many EWS1 surveys.

    Therefore unless an EWS1 survey is carried out it cannot be ascertained that there AREN’T any construction defects.

    Consequently for a prospective flat purchaser the risk of there being construction defects still exists.

    Which is why I would never buy a flat without an EWS1 survey having been carried out.

    I would be surprised if the majority of lenders would not adopt a similar mindset.

    But for me flats would not be considered by me.

    The only way would be if the flats had and EWS1 form.

    As those under 18m won’t now require one then I wouldn’t bother buying any flats under 18m.

    What Govt should do is to state than any flats below 18m which are discovered to have construction defects then Govt will pay for any required remediation and then pursue recovery from those responsible for defective construction.

    I can’t see Govt doing this which is why I wouldn’t bother buying any flat below 18m.

    Govt really needs to address the appalling construction of the past 45 years.

    Leaseholders cannot ever be held liable for incompetent construction.

    Liability must always remain with the Freeholder at their expense.

    It is for the Freeholder to pursue recovery from those who caused the construction defects

    These latest Govt measures do NOT restore confidence in the market values of flats.

    I for one won’t even bother think about buying any flat.

    Just too much hassle.

    A house built 40 years ago shouldn’t have any problems.

    I wouldn’t look at any house recently built as they are as poorly built as flats.

    There is also a big problem with flats that can’t achieve EPC C status.

    Such flats would be dud investments as far as a LL is concerned.

    Then we have the bonkers Govt policy of requiring all resi property to be EPC C status by 2035.

    That could be another massive bill for leaseholders.

    No matter what way you look at flats are dud investments.

    As can be evidenced by the current behaviour of Freeholders they are only too willing to charge leaseholders anything they can get away with.

    Being a flat leaseholder is a mug’s game.

    LL would do well to divest themselves of these dud flats.


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