The Consolidated Advice Note provided guidance on all residential blocks with cladding, regardless of their height. Many leaseholders in these blocks had since been struggling to sell, re-mortgage or staircase their flats.

On 10 January 2022, the Government announced that the Consolidated Advice Note was being withdrawn because it had been wrongly interpreted and had driven a cautious approach to building safety that goes beyond what they consider necessary.

We welcome the Government’s announcement that leaseholders in buildings over 11 metres are to be protected from cladding remediation costs. This much-needed assurance came into force on 28 June 2022 following the passage of the Building Safety Act 2022 through Parliament.

Our primary focus, in line with the new legislative requirements, is recovery/remediation through the original developer and, if this is not possible, to secure grant funding through the Government’s Building Safety Fund. All cladding and external wall remedial work and how this is funded is being considered on a scheme-by-scheme basis.

Please note that from 9 January 2023, six UK lenders (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander) consider mortgage applications on medium and high rise (11 metres and higher) properties with cladding, providing there is proof that cladding remediation work will be covered by developers, leaseholder protections or a recognised government scheme.

We hope this will be a relief for many leaseholders who have outgrown their homes for various reasons and have not been able to sell or re-mortgage.

Why can’t I sell, remortgage or staircase my flat?

Since the Grenfell Tower fire, surveyors have struggled to provide proper valuations of homes in high-rises with cladding due to uncertainty over building safety costs and issues.

Because of this, many lenders have been reluctant to agree loans on such homes unless they receive independent certification that the external wall systems are safe.

Why are leaseholders in this position facing such difficulty?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designed the EWS1 form in response to the advice notes issued by the Government on external wall systems to ensure that residential buildings over 18 metres tall could be assessed for safety and to give lenders and RICS valuers the information and confidence they needed to offer mortgages. The form came into use in December 2019.

Following changes in Government advice (the consolidation of all advice notes) in January 2020, buildings of all heights were potentially brought into scope.

However, not every building requires an EWS1 form. In April 2021, to clarify whether an EWS1 form is required or not, RICS issued new guidance which was formed in conjunction with the Government and various stakeholders. You can find out more about the EWS1 process, including answers to frequently asked questions, on the RICS website.

We are aware that some lenders continue to request EWS1 forms, and we share your frustration as this is affecting hundreds of thousands of leaseholders across the country.

What is the latest position from lenders on buildings over 11m?

In January 2023, six lenders have changed their lending rules, with some no longer requiring EWS1 forms. These are Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander. Each of the banks will require evidence that either:

Please note that individual lender eligibility criteria and lending policies will still apply.

Leaseholder Deed of Certificate

  • You can find out more about the Deed of Certificate, including details of how to complete it, on the government website. You can also download a Deed of Certificate template from the same page.
  • Your solicitor should be able to provide further advice on the Deed of Certificate and how you can use it to demonstrate to potential lenders that you are protected under the Building Safety Act from historical remediation charges.

The lenders’ position on lending where an EWS1 form or equivalent assessment shows that remediation is not required (A1, A2 or B1 rating), remains the same, i.e. lenders will continue to lend.

We will, of course, continue to respond to individual queries and provide information to help with mortgage applications wherever we can. Please contact us at

What can I do if a lender asks for an EWS1 form when it is not needed?

The Government announced in November 2020 that residents who live in buildings without cladding will no longer need an EWS1 form if they want to sell or re-mortgage their home. This could help up to 450,000 leaseholders who are currently waiting for an EWS1 form and are unable to move.

We are sorry to everyone who is facing a challenge with lenders that are asking for a EWS1 certification for buildings that are out of scope.

What can I do if a lender asks for an EWS1 form when it is not needed?

The Government announced in November 2020 that residents who live in buildings without cladding will no longer need an EWS1 form if they want to sell or re-mortgage their home. This could help up to 450,000 leaseholders who are currently waiting for an EWS1 form and are unable to move.

We are sorry to everyone who is facing a challenge with lenders that are asking for a EWS1 certification for buildings that are out of scope.

Are building owners legally obliged to provide ESW1 forms?

No, there is no statutory obligation for landlords to provide an EWS1 form. It is a requirement from mortgage lenders. However, we are committed to supporting our leaseholders and have a cladding remediation programme in place to ensure all our buildings are safe and whenever the case we issue compliant EWS1 forms confirming that no remediation works are necessary. As of December 2022, we have obtained 279 EWS1 certificates.

The Fire Safety Act 2021 which came into effect May 2022, has made it mandatory to check the external wall cladding as part of the Fire Risk Assessments. As such, we carry out regular Fire Risk Assessments, with any recommended actions programmed and completed on a risk basis.

What is an external wall system assessment?

The external wall system is made up of the outside wall of a residential building. The external wall system comprises a range of elements for example cladding, the insulation between cladding panels and the walls, and fire-stopping measures. Each of these elements, and how they perform together, is reviewed as part of an external wall assessment.

In January 2022, the British Standard Institution introduced PAS9980, a new code of practice for appraising the fire risk of external wall construction and cladding on existing blocks of flats. This methodology sets out a method for competent professionals to conduct Fire Risk Appraisals of External Wall construction (FRAEW) for existing multi-storey, multi-occupied residential buildings.

Please note that a report prepared in accordance with the PAS9980 is not intended as an alternative to the EWS1 form, which is for valuation purposes only. However, it can provide evidence for a EWS1 form to be issued.

Can I organise an EWS1 certificate for my building and external wall system assessment?

Lenders will only accept an EWS1 form that has been completed by a competent professional and organised by the building owner, freeholder or managing agent.

This means that external wall surveys can only be instructed by the building owner, freeholder or managing agent. Leaseholders do not have the legal right to carry out the survey or to instruct a surveyor to do it on their behalf.

Why does it take so long to get EWS1 and external wall system assessment?

As a social landlord, we put our residents first and we are committed to doing everything we can to obtain EWS1 forms as quickly as possible. However, this process is complex and time-consuming and involves in-depth investigations and intrusive surveys on the buildings.

It should take an average of eight to twelve weeks from the survey until we get the written report. However, due to the professional indemnity insurance and shortage of qualified fire engineers, this is taking substantially longer.

The Institution of Fire Engineers register currently list just over 100 registered fire engineers who can carry out the surveys.

On 21 November 2020, the Government announced that it would be funding the training of around 2,000 more fire engineers to carry out external wall assessments in order to help reduce the backlog.

It is investing nearly £700,000 in the training, which will be delivered by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and should see additional assessors qualified for issuing EWS1 forms.

Unfortunately, these assessors are also having difficulty obtaining adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance.

How does One Housing identify which buildings require a survey of the external walls?

We own or manage around 1,200 residential purpose-built blocks, out of which around 10% are buildings over 18 metres in height. Like other housing associations we need to prioritise surveys based on safety factors, including height and type of cladding used.

We run a cladding remediation programme to test and remediate the external wall systems – including cladding, insulation and fire-stopping - across our buildings. Our current remediation programme identified 170 high-risk buildings, which we are prioritising.

Although we may be your landlord, it doesn’t always mean that we own or manage the building you live in. Where that is the case, we are unable to carry out our own investigations into the external wall system. However, if we are not the freeholder of the building or have responsibility for its external walls, we work with the responsible landlord and managing agent to obtain the confirmation of compliance.

Following the remediation of six buildings across three sites, we currently have 15 cladding remediation projects underway with completions planned between Summer 2023 and early next year.

We are updating our webpage to make compliant EWS1 forms available online for leaseholders and residents to download.

Can I rent out my property until it is possible to sell it?

Please contact our Leasehold and Tenancy Management Team via to discuss the options available.

Is my building safe in the meantime?

The safety of our buildings is our top concern, which is why we are committed to assess the safety and remediate any safety issues, with priority given to our highest risk blocks. This is a complex, lengthy and costly process. Meanwhile, we are also following professional advice on managing any risks that the testing highlights. In some buildings, for instance, we have introduced round-the-clock fire marshals and installed temporary fire alarm system.

We also carry out regular fire risk assessments on all our properties that require them, with any recommended actions programmed and completed on a risk basis.

More information

You can useful information about the EWS1 form via the following links:

If you have questions regarding the safety of your building, please email

If you are concerned that your ability to remortgage, staircase or sell your home might be affected by these changes, please seek advice directly from your lender or mortgage provider.