In 2017 the Grenfell Tower in London burnt down. One of the reasons why the fire spread so quickly was faulty cladding. Since then, every property with cladding has been under supervision. Cladding makes tall blocks of flats visually pleasing, that’s why it is a popular solution. Since the Grenfell disaster, it is very difficult to sell a flat with cladding issues. If you’re one of the unlucky people who have been stuck in a cladding crisis you may wonder how can I sell my flat with cladding?
What is cladding?
Cladding is attached to the outside of a building, it’s composed of different materials and can have a variety of purposes from visual to sound dampening and waterproofing. If can be made of various materials, some of them are more fire-resistant than others. As for the design of cladding, it can have layers that can result in quickfire spreading due to a chimney-like effect of how it is attached to the side of the building.
How to sell a flat with cladding?
The term you’ll hear over and over is ‘EWS1 form’ it’s a specialist form (External Wall System) needed for buildings with cladding, previously it used to be for certain buildings of a certain height but now is pretty much needed if you have any sort of cladding on your flat. You’ll need it (the form) to remortgage and to sell the property most of the time. It was introduced shortly after the Grenfell fire along with other governmental policies to help mitigate risk.
The form covers the whole building and (essentially) states that it conforms to government guidelines on the safety of the (fitted) cladding. The EWS1 form is valid for 5 years unless substantial renovation work is done then a new one may be required.
‘In the dark’: millions left in flats they can’t sell or fix due to unsafe cladding
The biggest issue by far is not in fact the form, it is the lack of accredited people who are able to give out the form. There is a massive shortage of (RICS) surveyors able to give the form and this has unfortunately led to a large wait time to get the form. Some people are being told they will not able to get some to look at their cladding until 2025! This then has a knock-on with millions of people unable to remortgage, sell and are imprisoned in their homes with rising costs attributed to the cladding. Its turning peoples dream homes into nightmares. Some measures from the government were put in place like not needing an EWS1 form is a building is under 18m but many banks are still requiring this form which is exacerbating the issue.
The government announced a fund of 5 billion in the autumn budget in 2021 however, the grant is not enough to help many people and along with the long wait times for an EWS1 form still could mean people are unable to move in the next decade and with the money only affecting some developments, it leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
Campaigners are still pushing for more help to deal with the issue but it seems like it’s going to on-going for some time.
Tenants trying to sell their property with cladding are running into problems with the price plummeting and skyrocketing maintenance fees to keep it safe. EWS1 forms are either unavailable and remortgaging flats affected by cladding is also troublesome. This is leaving people trapped in potential unsafe buildings. We buy any house including cladding properties, we’ve helped a lot of people and we would be happy to discuss your options with you regards to helping you sell a flat with cladding. Depending on the building we may still require an EWS1 form due to the safety of the building but we may also have some options to enable progress. Please contact us today to see how we can help.