Which buildings does the EWS1 Form apply to?
The EWS1 form is designed to be used for residential properties such as blocks of flats (including those owned by housing associations and social housing providers as well as privately owned), student accommodation, dormitories, assisted living, care homes and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
The EWS1 form is not specifically designed for use of short-term accommodation such as hotels. EWS1 does, however, apply to an entire building or block so where required, may also be relevant to mixed use.
However not every building will require an EWS1 form. RICS published guidance for valuers on 8 March 2021 and will be working with UK government and other stakeholders to ensure the guidance is implemented by 5 April 2021 and this guidance includes criteria that will be used to help decide whether a particular building should need an EWS1 form.
The criteria considers the height of the building, the type of cladding and (in some circumstances) how much of it there is on the building. There are also criteria relating to balconies and combustible material
The new guidance includes removing the need for EWS checks on buildings of four storeys or below, as long as they are not clad in aluminium composite material (ACM), other metal composite materials (MCM) or high-pressure laminate (HPL). In the past lenders and investors have increasingly sought the same level of EWS verification across their entire portfolio. It remains to be seen what effect the new RICS guidance will have on requests for EWS1 forms. Determining that a building does not contain ACM, MCM, or HPL cladding requires a survey of the property in any event, whether or not an EWS1 Form is produced.