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Hello, as a leaseholder for almost 5 years on the estate (Hatfield House) I'm looking to remortgage to stay longer, however all of the lending banks are asking for an "EWS1 Form".

  • The "EWS1 Form" has become a requirement for some blocks in the UK (but not for any on Golden Lane Estate) since the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. It checks that any cladding is safe
    • Golden Lane Estate has no cladding with any of the flammable materials listed in the EWS1 survey, so the lending banks are being excessively "cautious" here
    • It appears GLE doesn't have any documentation of this because it was all built in the 50s/60s and has not been touched since
  • Despite this, almost all banks are refusing a (re)mortgage without this form for Hatfield Hous
  • My understanding is that getting an EWS1 survey and form takes months and quite a large fee (thousands of pounds)

Has anyone managed to (re)mortgage on the estate recently and find a way around this EWS1 Form request?

Or is anyone going through similar issues and we could work together to find a solution?! 

Also, the above is a warning for anyone planning to (re)mortgage...it seems difficult to do that or even sell at the moment

Thanks in advance!

George

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Hi George - sounds difficult. We managed to remortgage with Santander 2 years ago no problem - maybe we got in before this form was required. Have the Estate Office managed to help? Or the City of London Housing team? 

There's a Glera (the residents' association) meeting on Tuesday 9 November where we can all submit common issues that we'd like to see Glera tackle on our behalf. Might be worth attending?

Finally - I see you are in Hatfield House - we have a whatsapp group for the block where we try and find answers to stuff like this - let me know if you would like to join it.

Good luck.

I see the requirement is being removed, should happen in December
Good news - thanks for sharing. I'll have another look. I hope this means lenders will start relaxing their caution before December. As in, now!

Thanks so much for your replies Lisa and Christine sorry for my slow response (I've been out of town)!

Update: I have managed to push a lender quite hard on this and schedule their valuer to come and confirm that the Hatfield House block has no cladding (let alone any risky cladding) and provide a valuation as standard for any remortgage. Wasn't the easiest things to do, carefully worded emails etc.

Lisa - sorry I missed this, I think it might be useful for me to join a future Glera, to inform other residents of the risk much as anything. When is the next one and how can I join? I'd also like to join the WhatsApp group for Hatfield House, thanks!

Christine - is this requirement being removed for Golden Lane or in the UK in general? A link with information would be much appreciated! My understanding is that the government guidance removed an EWS1 as a requirement for most buildings...but lenders are still asking for it to be annoying/ultra-cautious 

Mr Gove is pausing Jenricks loan idea and want to review everything. This isn't the link to the article I referred to that was very gung ho. https://inews.co.uk/news/cladding-scandal-plans-flat-leaseholders-p...
But seems hopeful. It doesn't address GLE with no flammable cladding!

Thanks, that's useful. GLE doesn't even have any cladding, let alone flammable cladding! It didn't even exist when the block was built...we just don't have an EWS1 form/survey to prove that

Hey George. All residents are automatically part of Glera. I put this issue down for consideration for Glera to investigate. Next meeting tbc.

Good news you are getting somewhere. Would you mind sharing which lender you've had this tentative success with?

Link to join the Hatfield WhatsApp group

https://chat.whatsapp.com/FawD1FlTsNU8yujrmvu4Wm

Thanks Lisa! 

I'd rather not share the lender in public for data/financial security but will message you privately.

I've got a valuer booked to come visit next week (fundamentally they're the gatekeeper for requiring this EWS1 form) for the remortgage and I will update here on the outcome of that

UPDATE: mortgage declined by lender because according to the inspector/valuer we have 7 floors (??) in Hatfield House which is apparently a fire risk because of the questionable post-Grenfell government regulations

This will present difficulties in getting a (re)mortgage for all (future) leaseholders in the short/medium term in Hatfield/Crescent House and potentially other blocks in Golden Lane

oh gosh what a disaster

i think including the basement level it's 7 floors.

Presumably you've seen this Fire Risk Assessment? I havent looked through it yet but hoping it will be helpful:

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/assets/Services-DCCS/hatfield-house...

I've also written to the Corporation. Peabody Estates provide leaseholders with a letter to giove to lenders explaining why an EWS1 form is not needed. I've asked for the same.

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