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What is an External Wall System Surveys (EWS1) form?
What is an External Wall System Surveys (EWS1) form?

What is an EWS1 form? EWS1 certificates state when an external wall system passes a safety review. See if you need one for your mortgage.

Alison avatar
Written by Alison
Updated over a week ago

What is an EWS1 form?

EWS stands for External Wall System. This refers to cladding, insulation, and fire break systems in residential buildings.

If a building has cladding (an EWS) an EWS1 form is required to answer the following questions:

  • Is there a fire risk?

  • Would the property value be affected if the EWS requires remedial works to remove the fire risk?

The EWS1 form is completed by a qualified professional.

Does every building require an EWS1 form?

No, not every building with an EWS needs an EWS1 form.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) works with the UK government and other stakeholders to determine whether a particular building needs an EWS1 form.

Therefore, the qualified professional inspecting the building will consider the building height, type of cladding, quantity of cladding, as well as balconies and combustible material.

Please note that while the EWS1 form was originally for residential buildings above 18 meters, changes in government advice mean that residential buildings of any height may now require an EWS1 form.

Does each flat have to get an individual EWS1 form when selling, buying or remortgaging?

No. One EWS1 form can cover an entire building.

Please note, if your flat sits at a junction of two streets the property address (including the postcode) on the EWS1 form needs to match your new properties address.

How does the EWS1 form impact the buying, selling or remortgaging of a flat?

The form’s purpose is to ensure that a mortgage valuation can be provided on a property with an external wall cladding system.

A signed EWS1 will indicate one of two things:

  • The external wall materials are unlikely to combust

  • Combustible materials are present in an external wall and either the fire risk is sufficiently low that no remedial works are required, or fire risk is high enough that remedial works are required.

The EWS1 form is not a life safety certificate. It is used by the valuer and lender to determine if expensive remedial works are needed, which could affect the property value.

Will Gen H ask to see an EWS1 form?

If the surveyor states an EWS1 form is needed, then we would need to wait on this before an offer can be issued.

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