EWS1 Forms

An EWS1 form rates the external wall system of a building based on risk and combustibility. It's an industry-wide valuation process to help people buy and sell homes. A mortgage lender may ask to see your EWS1 to seek assurance about your building's safety.

Below you'll find our FAQs on EWS1s, and our media browser where you can find your form. If you have any further questions, get in touch.

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If we have an EWS1 form for your building, it will be listed below. 

To find your building's EWS1, please type its name into the search bar and make sure 'name' and 'description' are clicked.


What is an EWS1 form?

EWS stands for External Wall System. The EWS1 is an External Wall System Fire Review Form. It is written after a detailed inspection of the external walls by a specialist.

The EWS1 form is a set way for a residential building owner to confirm to valuers and lenders that an external wall system and balconies has been assessed by a suitable expert.

What is it used for?

The form is used as a mortgage valuation tool, which may be required when a leaseholder is buying, selling or re-mortgaging a flat in a multi-storey residential building.

This EWS1 form is for the external wall system only. It is not a life safety certificate. It should not be taken as confirmation that other works relating to fire safety in other parts of the building are not required.

Do all buildings need an EWS1?

No, not all buildings need an EWS1. Although most high-rise buildings of 7 stories and higher need them, EWS1s are needed only on buildings that are:

  • 7 stories and over with cladding
  • 5 and 6 stories with either
    • specific ACM MCM or HPL cladding panels or
    • other cladding that is more than one quarter of each wall or
    • with balconies stacked above each other that also have combustible materials (timber) linking them
  • 4 stories and lower only if they have specific ACM MCM or HPL cladding panels

If your block does not have these then it doesn’t need an EWS1. In those cases, we can provide an Exemption Report instead, explaining why an EWS1 is not required.  

What’s involved in the EWS process?

The EWS process involves an on-site inspection of the walls and how they are constructed and an assessment by a qualified fire specialist. This fire expert assesses which option is most appropriate and then completes the EWS1 form.

What do the EWS1 ratings mean?

The process results in a signed EWS1 form per building, with two options/ outcomes:

Option A - External wall materials are unlikely to support combustion

Option B - Combustible materials are present in an external wall with sub options of either;

B1 - fire risk is sufficiently low that no remedial works are required, or

B2 - fire risk is high enough that remedial works are required.

My building is B2, how am I being kept safe in my building?

While a B2 rating means that work is recommended to the external walls, your building will have other fire safety measures in place to keep you safe.

These measures include:

  • Automatic Smoke Vent systems
  • Smoke alarms in homes
  • Clear balconies and escape routes
  • Dry risers
  • Emergency lighting
  • Exit signs
  • Safety notices
  • Fire Brigade information
  • Fire doors

Inspections, servicing and maintenance are also carried out by either us or a specialist. This includes:

  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • Cladding surveys
  • Fire door inspections
  • Inspections and improvements on internal walls and doors (fire stopping)
  • Door replacement program
  • Balcony and escape route inspections

My building is B2, will I still get a mortgage from my lender?

Some lenders may not approve a mortgage on a B2, but many do. More recently some of the larger lenders have indicated that they will lend on buildings affected by safety issues before the work is completed.

National Housing Federation update 20 July 2022: Six of the country’s biggest banks have agreed to support leaseholders by agreeing to provide mortgages for properties in buildings affected by unresolved building safety issues, so long as the building has a costed and funded plan in place for remediation works or qualifies for a government funding scheme, confirming that there will be no cost to leaseholders to make the walls safe.

Does each flat get an individual EWS1 form for selling, buying, or re-mortgaging?

No. EWS1 forms are valid for an entire building. The form is valid for five years.

I’m a leaseholder, will I have to pay for any works to repair the wall cladding system?

THCH has committed that eligible leaseholders will not pay for remediation works to make the external walls of their building safe. This is also a government regulation. The work will be funded by the original builder, by government grants or other funding.

Where can I get my EWS1 form?

Please see our media browser above to find your EWS1.

I can't find an EWS1 for my building

We have completed EWS1s for all blocks that need one. If the EWS1 for your block is not available, it is because your block is a type that does not require an EWS1. Most blocks of 4 storeys and below do not need an EWS1 and only some 5 and 6 storey need one.

If a lender is requesting one anyway, we can provide an Exemption Report to explain to them why it does not need one.

More information

What fire safety systems and work do we have to keep buildings safe from fire?

We have an annual Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) programme which is an independent inspection by qualified inspectors of the block. These inspections ensure that the building has an appropriate fire strategy and that the building is being managed and maintained in accordance with fire safety legislation and lets us know which work needs to be carried out to improve the buildings fire safety.

We have a Building Safety Manager who advise on our individual building safety strategies and our ‘higher risk’ buildings and who is in regular contact with the London Fire Brigade so they also know how our building are,

Over the last five years we have invested significantly in fire safety works, including upgrading fire doors in all tower blocks and on the Minerva estate.  We have also completed programmes of firestopping works across our estates.

We have completed cladding surveys to all our medium and high-rise blocks and currently are delivering a 3rd stage cladding programme.  This has enabled us to identify those blocks where there are deficiencies within cladding systems and to develop a programme and strategy for remediation to those blocks where issues have been found.

We carry out monthly fire safety inspections to all blocks across our estates.

We have a robust compliance management system in place whereby we have ongoing servicing and maintenance of all fire safety equipment within our blocks. This is delivered through a number of contracts with suppliers competent in these areas.

All blocks with 7 storeys or more have a Secure Information Box which provides important information about the building for the Fire Brigade to help them if there is a fire and they need plans, documents and instructions.

In line with new government guidelines, we are carrying out further in-depth investigative external wall surveys on some of our buildings. We’ve partnered with specialist property surveyors, Airey Miller, to provide these. They act as independent consultants to find the best solution. Any buildings that will be affected by these surveys, will be contacted in advanced.

Why was EWS1 introduced?

After the Grenfell Tower fire, attention focused on removing aluminium composite material (ACM) from buildings over 18 metres. Attention then broadened to take in other types of combustible cladding. Government Advice Note 14 (December 2018) contained guidance for building owners on steps to take to tackle non-ACM materials on the external walls of high-rise buildings. Owners were advised to check “general fire precautions” and ensure external wall systems were “safe”.

In 2019 lenders began to seek assurance on the safety of external wall systems as a condition of approving mortgage applications. There was concern that flats in high-rise blocks wouldn’t represent good security and that owners could be liable for remediation costs. In some cases, surveyors acting for lenders gave flats a zero value or significantly less than the asking price, if the block didn’t have a certificate showing compliance.

In response, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) led a cross-industry working group to agree a new standardised process. The EWS1 process was agreed by the industry in December 2019 –it’s described as an “industry-wide valuation process which will help people buy and sell homes and re-mortgage in buildings above 18 metres (six storeys).”

Some lenders insisting on EWS1 forms despite blocks not meeting criteria in the RICS guidance. On 21 July 2021, the Secretary of State referred to expert advice which found “no systemic risk of fire in blocks under 18 metres.” The press release said “EWS1 forms should not be requested for buildings below 18 metres” and said some major high street lenders had agreed to review their practices on blocks under 18 metres based on the new advice.

Now RICS have updated the guidance and make it clears which buildings require an EWS1 due to their Height, cladding type and some riskier balconies if they are stacked above each other and have combustible walls between them.

If you want to know more from RICS click here

Valuation of properties in multi-storey, multi-occupancy residential buildings with cladding (rics.org)

Cladding Q&A (rics.org)

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