Thousands more leaseholders including many landlords won’t need an EWS1 form to sell or remortgage their property, according to revised figures from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government.

It had estimated last year that 431,000 leaseholders with flats in buildings over 11m tall wouldn’t need to undergo the New External Wall System (EWS) process, but it now says another 61,000 have been added due to changes in the guidance criteria, a 14% increase.

These changes include the exclusion of 11-18m buildings with minimal cladding (classed as less than 25% coverage) when previously all 11-18m buildings with any cladding, irrespective of the proportion of coverage, were included.

However, 11-18m buildings with any panels of aluminium composite material (ACM), metal composite material (MCM) or high-pressure laminate (HPL) present will still need an EWS1 form. Other changes to the criteria have captured more buildings so that all those over 11m with vertically stacked balconies made partially or wholly from combustible materials are now included.

Issuing a mortgage

The government adds that 115,000 leaseholders in buildings over 18m also won’t need to go through the process, after The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ issued its guidance earlier this week to clarify the checks required by banks and building societies before issuing a mortgage.

However, campaigners such as the End Our Cladding Scandal have criticised it for not considering the wide range of serious, internal and external, safety defects being uncovered in residential buildings of all heights. It also believes the decision that buildings of any height with HPL cladding will still need an EWS1 form is unfair and arbitrary.

The guidance is due to be implemented by 5th April 2021.

Read the full MHCLG report.


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