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Seven lenders agree to cover cost of submitting EWS1 forms to FIA portal after delays

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  • 12/07/2021
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Seven lenders agree to cover cost of submitting EWS1 forms to FIA portal after delays
Barclays, HSBC UK, Lloyds, Nationwide Building Society, Natwest, Santander and TSB have agreed to cover the cost of making EWS1 forms publicly available on the Fire Industry Association (FIA) portal and pay registration fees for around 250 fire professionals.

 

The Building Safety Information Portal, which was launched last year allows, homeowners, buyers, sellers, valuers and lenders to search and submit EWS1 forms.

However, professionals have been slow to upload them with around 6,000 existing forms not yet submitted to the platform according to UK Finance.

According to the FIA user guide, in order to use the platform signatories need to register and pay £200 plus VAT for their application to be processed, thereafter there is a £25 plus VAT annual fee to maintain the registrations.

The EWS1 forms are then submitted and reviewed by the FIA and cost £150 plus VAT every time a form is submitted by PDF or £100 plus VAT for each form if it submitted online.

EWS1 forms were introduced in 2019 to address concerns of external cladding following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

However, there has been confusion about when a form is required by lenders and increased demand coupled with fewer fire professionals have led to some delays.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued new guidance in March which outlined when a form was needed, which housing minister Christopher Pincher said has freed 500,000 leaseholders from needing to obtain the form.

Brokers canvassed by this publication said that EWS1 lender requests were still a “grey area” and “mess” despite the new guidance.

UK Finance’s mortgages director Charles Roe said: “These forms are vitally important for anyone looking to buy, sell or remortgage homes in a multi-storey building. The financial backing and support of the seven lenders is a positive step to keep the housing market moving for flats and apartments.

“In addition, it will improve transparency and access to building safety information for everyone involved in the home-buying process.”

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