Fraudulent EWS1 Forms
Which? magazine have just published a disturbing and important article, advising that scammers are signing off fraudulent EWS1 forms, sometimes adopting real Chartered Surveyor identities. The article sets out the many serious implications of fake EWS1 forms – the forms needed before a flat can be sold where a building has cladding (in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire). This is a very serious matter and all managing agents, leaseholders and conveyancers are currently on high alert to spot fake forms.
The Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) has reminded its members that they must NOT sign off EWS1 forms unless professionally competent to do so. Carrying an AIRPM, MIRPM or AssocRICS designation does not in itself qualify as being competent to do this work unless the individual has other experience/qualifications that are specifically relevant to building construction and fire safety.
The EWS1 situation is now a full-blown national crisis. Considerable harm is being caused to leaseholders who are trapped, unable to sell, let or re-mortgage, paying huge waking watch costs, facing horrendous remediation costs down the track, paying inflated building insurance premiums (or worse, for some buildings are now uninsurable) and all the while feeling unsafe in potentially at-risk buildings. Property managers communicating this bad news to their leaseholders are on the receiving end of understandable fear, anxiety and anger. It is a grievously unjust situation that leaseholders (and also property managers) did not create but are having to cope with. IRPM, with ARMA, RICS and others, are in robust dialogue with the government to try and find solutions.