Morgan Sloane

EWS1 Forms - What you need to know

Do you live in a flat or apartment? 

If you live in a flat or apartment and require a valuation, whether for Help to Buy, Housing Association, Staircasing, Mortgage Valuation or for any other purpose then it is important that you are aware of the document known as an 'EWS1 form'.

The purpose of this article is not to try to explain what an EWS1 form is, rather how it will affect you in terms of your valuation.  A comprehensive Q&A explaining what the document is has been published by the RICS here and we recommend that you read through it to familiarise yourself with the basics, the government has also published a briefing note here which provides further information.

Most valuations will only be valid for a limited period of time, usually up to 3 months in the case of Help to Buy or Staircasing etc, but for a much shorter period of time for a mortgage valuation. If the block in which your flat is situated has ANYTHING other than brick or render on the outside walls (no matter what the height of the block or how many flats are located within it) then it is highly likely that you will require an EWS1 form which your solicitors or lender will need to see before your sale / remortgage etc completes.

Given the length of time it can take to obtain the EWS1 form (see the articles linked above) you would be best advised to ask your freeholder or managing agent if they have the EWS1 form for your block (or if they are certain that one is not required) BEFORE you instruct your valuation, as often the valuation will have expired before the EWS1 form can be supplied if one has not already been done for your block.  This is especially important if you are selling your property or remortgaging as the bank will refuse to lend without a valid EWS1 form and that will result in whats known as a 'nil valuation' by the lenders valuer (whilst this doesn't mean that your flat is 'worthless' it does mean there will be delays and frustrations before you can sell or remortgage).

If you are unsure if you might need an EWS1 form please contact us and we will be pleased to talk you through it

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