Wondering if anyone has encountered issues selling or remortgaging their flat in 197 Long Lane due to EWS1 forms? I recently looked into this and was told that it would be virtually impossible for a buyer to get a mortgage for the property without my having first obtained an EWS1 form demonstrating that the building is free from hazardous cladding.
From media reports, it looks like there are massive waits in being able to obtain these certificates, with some saying it could be years before they're provided. That makes the flat virtually unsellable.
I was told it's the responsibility of the freeholder, who in this case is called Parkbrace Limited. There's little online about them apart from a mailing address on Companies House. I haven't received any communication from them on the status of these forms or any cladding inspections.
JKL, I would be posting up notices in your block and circulating notes to neighbours to canvas support, as well a posting on this website, which unfortunately has suffered a reduced number of subscribers.
There may be some optimism from the announcement that the RICS are undertaking a review of EWS1. A report by the Fire Protection Association in October states that 'Earlier this year, the housing, communities and local government committee (HCLGC) branded the EWS1 form ‘slow and expensive’, and asked for the government to step in, as not only was the process ‘not working’, but it should create a ‘faster and fairer’ system, because the ‘industry-designed’ form was ‘slow and expensive’ and ‘applied to an unnecessarily wide range of buildings’.
That won't help in the short term but there seems to be a recognition that the EWS requirements are causing widespread problems for leaseholders. The building owner or managing agent is responsible for establishing what materials are on their building. They need to confirm what the wall system is made up of and whether an assessment is required. The building owners are the only ones who can progress the assessment process. As for who pays for any remedial work found to be necessary - that's also a can of worms.
Do you have a managing agent who could assist with locating the freeholder?
Parkbrace's agent are Estates and Management (E&M) who collect ground rent and deal with leasehold-related queries on the freeholder's behalf. [Parkbrace are also the freeholder of the nearby City Walk development].
To get the answers that you are seeking, you will need to reach out to your managing agent (the company you pay your service charge to). They should really already be on top of this. There is a Government fund to contribute to cladding costs (for buildings of a certain height) and I believe that it closes in December 2020 so agents need to get their skates on...
I'd speak to estate agents who have sold or are selling properties in your block. I live in a cladded building and flats here have sold and some mortgage lenders are more tolerant than others but it is common for mortgages to be turned down and for the chain to fall through. Our building is still having remedial works that might go on for years and years we will not be getting an ESW1 certificate for quite some time. but people still seem to be selling and moving. Best of luck