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Mortgage lenders believe that owners and prospective buyers of flats should have confidence that the home they live in, or wish to buy, is safe and free from fire safety defects.
The Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 led to concerns about the safety of some building materials and installation methods. Many blocks of flats have needed or are in need of reassessment. In some cases this has meant that remediation of defects needs to be carried out.
Whenever someone buys a new home or remortgages their current one, their mortgage lender is required to obtain a market valuation of the property from an independent valuer. If remediation work is needed or may be required after an assessment by a qualified and experienced fire expert, then the cost of this will need to be taken into consideration by a mortgage lender and their valuer. Many lenders use EWS1 forms, developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Building Societies Association and UK Finance, to help them with valuation.
Lenders and RICS will continue to work with government and key industry stakeholders to ensure a proportionate approach to addressing building and fire safety risks and costs for flat owners. This will include a further review of lending and valuation once the Building Safety Bill becomes law in England and enshrines statutory protections for leaseholders and details the operation of the Remediation Order regime. Different approaches to assessing and remediating affected buildings are being developed by the Scottish and Welsh governments and lenders are working with them on those processes.
We will continue to engage with UK national and devolved governments, consumers, and other key stakeholders to deliver solutions and closure on building safety issues. They have caused financial and wellbeing stresses for flat owners, who bought their properties in good faith, for too long.