CA launches cladding guidance for member firms

This follows on from further government intervention to support the removal of dangerous cladding in buildings between 11 and 18 metres high.

CA launches cladding guidance for member firms

The Conveyancing Association (CA) has launched a ‘Guidance on Cladding’ document to help steer member firms on what they should be looking for and how they should be advising clients and lenders.

This follows on from further government intervention to support the removal of dangerous cladding in buildings between 11 and 18 metres high.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove wrote to property developers, giving them until March to work out how they would remove the cladding.

He also said the government would scrap its proposals which would have seen leaseholders within these medium-rise buildings having to take out loans and further debt to fund the works.

The CA guidance covers a number of areas, particularly around the External Wall System (EWS1) Form, including: what is an EWS1 Form? When and why is it required? What is the EWS1 Form process, does it have a shelf-life, and who completes it?

The document also contains a checklist for conveyancers to follow outlining the broad steps to be completed in such cases, as well as a list of relevant professional bodies able to complete an EWS1, depending on which option has been completed on the form.

The CA said that, with a building safety regulator to be created as part of the Building Safety Act, it would be keeping a close watch on how official guidance evolved in order to produce future editions of this guidance.

Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at The CA, said: “Understandably, the issue of cladding has been a key one for all conveyancing firms, especially as the official guidance shifts and government legislation impacts on property requirements particularly for EWS1 Forms.

"After years of stone-walling, we appear to have some significant welcome movement which we hope means leaseholders in buildings over 11 metres do not have to fund the removal of their cladding themselves, putting many into debt and currently leaving large numbers in homes they cannot remortgage or sell.

“Clarity is however still required and conveyancers need to ensure they are full aware of the rules and what they mean.

"As such, we have produced this guidance for conveyancers in order to help them through the process and, while it is not exhaustive, it should provide a pathway to follow to protect them, their clients and the lender involved.

"We are also recommending members check regularly for updates on the RICS and Gov.uk websites, and by doing this and utilising this new guidance, they will be much more confident on the requirements with such properties.”

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