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News & opinion

11 JAN 2022

RICS statement on building safety announcement - 10th January 2022

RICS welcomes the Secretary of State’s announcement to Parliament on building safety and his commitment to delivering a solution which will protect many thousands of leaseholders from the cost of removing unsafe cladding.

While this solution will not cover all historic fire safety defects, we believe these steps could go a substantial way to freeing thousands of leaseholders from concern about the safety of their homes and the possible cost of remediating dangerous cladding. 

RICS is encouraged to see the new Secretary of State proposing bold steps with the interests of leaseholders at their heart. We will consider its impact on valuation practice carefully with stakeholders. 

RICS has consistently taken a proportionate approach to valuation guidance which is evidence-based and supported by all market participants. The data, published by Government, demonstrates that this proportionate approach is working, with EWS1 forms being requested in a small (and decreasing) number of valuations. We will continue to work with valuers and lenders to ensure that a proportionate approach is being applied consistently in practice and RICS’ Standards and Regulation Board will keep the guidance under review.  

As acknowledged by the Secretary of State, we continue to work constructively with the Government and all stakeholders on solutions to this critical issue in the public interest. As such we welcome the Government’s work to support PII insurance for those carrying out assessments, and its continued funding of RICS’s work to train more assessors.

The Secretary of State referred to the future governance of the Institution. RICS Governing Council has invited Lord Michael Bichard to undertake an independent review of RICS’ purpose, governance and strategy. Lord Bichard has called for evidence for his review and this is open until Friday 21 January 2022. Public submissions to the Bichard review are invited via the contact form on the website here, by email to info@bichardricsreview.org.