Obtaining finance when buying a flat has been a problem just recently, with lenders wanting to see an EWS1 form to ensure that a flat is not a fire risk due to exterior cladding. Quite rightly, they have been turning down applications where no such forms exist, but people's desperation to sell or remortgage has led to a flurry of fake EWS1 forms being produced. 
The problem is so wide-spread that one lender, Fleet Mortgages, has actually withdrawn from the market where a building needs an EWS1 form - whether you have a legitimate one or not! 
 
This is quite harsh, in my view; I'm sure that there could be other checks that could be done, ie referral to a Trade Body to confirm the existence of the individual certifying the form, along with confirmation from them that the building has been certified. 
 
The concern for the property individual applying for a mortgage with any lender is that you may not find out about this criterion until it's too late - after you have paid for, and had, a valuation done. 
 
A few lenders actually have advanced decision processes, where surveyors can review an address, prior to application, to give an opinion whether any aspect of the property could cause an issue for a mortgage. Typically, this is used when a non-standard property type is being purchased, but there is a possibility that such a system could be useful for the EWS1 situation. Of course, there is no guarantee that this review is binding on the surveyor who actually goes out and performs the inspection, but there may be situations where this would help. 
 
If you are considering buying a flat and want to make sure, as far as possible, that your applying to a lender who will actually be in a position to offer a mortgage, please give me, John Constant, a call on 07751 042485 or email john@hdconsultants.net. 
Tagged as: Block, Cladding, Fire, Flats, Risk
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