Ask an Property Solicitor. Get an Answer ASAP.
Hello, this is Jim and welcome to JustAnswer. I will be the lawyer working with you today.Sorry to hear of the issue. I will set out my written answer shortly.
Since the Grenfell tragedy most mortgage lenders want to see a completed EWS1 form (external wall system) - so that the mortgage application can be approved as the form is used for valuation purposes. Because if after the external wall system is inspected and remedial works are required - this will affect the mortgage provider's valuation for obvious reasons. And the lender is unlikely to release the monies until the repairs have been completed though not all lenders take this view so you should check with Barclays whether this is the case or not.
It is done to assess safety of a block of flats for example - in line with Government guidance. A qualified professional within the construction industry simply assesses the fire risk of the external wall system. The form is then valid for up to 5 years.
As you will know, the definition of cladding is "components which are attached to the primary structure of a building to form a non-structural surface". The lender is taking a risk by releasing the monies without the form and as I say, it is not commonplace for lenders to insist on the form being made available.
The flat may have "unknown make up" and there may therefore be safety concerns.
It is noteworthy too that the Government 's Ministry of Housing has defined cladding to include a render system - see this link at "technical notes" and definitions: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england/building-safety-programme-estimates-of-ews1-requirements-on-residential-buildings-in-england
In terms of contacting the underwriters, you could try but it is now standard practice for the EWS1 form to be required - the form is used for valuation purposes only so until the form is completed and sent, the underwriters are likely to stand their ground unfortunately. You could instruct a law firm to help but they will tell you the same thing as I have.
If you need to find a suitable expert to assess then you can do so via this link: https://www.ricsfirms.com
I hope this helps and answers the question - my goal is to ensure you are happy with the answer and have the information you need. If you have any follow up questions then please let me know. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.
Please let me know if the answer helped or if you need me to cover anything else?. I am happy to clarify the answer or if you have any follow up questions. If so, I’d be grateful if you would let me know. I am free most days, including weekends, so feel free to ask me anything you are unsure of.