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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13870
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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As a family, we have sent off my daughters deposit for her

Customer Question

Hi, as a family, we have sent off my daughters deposit for her new flat, to our solicitor. Our lender, Barclays, approved the mortgage weeks ago, however, the underwriters are now saying that they require a EWS1 before releasing funds as the building has external cladding. My question is why?? The building is a 3 storey flat and is 8 years old. I am in the building trade and know 100% that the cladding is cement based planks and not the metal or pressed laminate, which is causing all the problems recently. Can we contact the underwriters? Or will they stand their ground. We are ready to excange and so stressed about the whole thing. Thank you Derek
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I haven't, we only received this information yesterday, after a chat with Barclays
JA: Where is the flat located?
Customer: Hornchurch
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I don't think so, that's it in a nut shell really
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 11 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

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.

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

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: ​

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:

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

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.

Many thanks,

Expert:  JimLawyer replied 10 days ago.

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.

Best wishes,