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23 NOV 2020

RICS Valuation practice – fire safety in residential valuation

The purpose of this practice alert is to update RICS valuers on the publication of updated information by Government - Building Safety Programme: estimates of EWS1 requirements on residential buildings in England on the impact of fire safety advice on the assessment of residential buildings for mortgage purposes.

Fire safety is one of the key challenges facing the residential real estate sector today. It affects multiple stakeholders including leaseholders, valuers, lenders, insurers, fire safety experts, building managers and building owners. Practice and advice related to this area has, in certain cases, changed at short notice.

On 20 January 2020 The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published its consolidated advice note guidance: Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors. This MHCLG Advice Note informed the professional information RICS has provided to valuers on this issue, including the EWS1 form. MHCLG has now supplemented its guidance with a further statement, published on 21 November 2020 MHCLG: Building Safety Programme: estimates of EWS1 requirements on residential buildings in England.

In light of the challenges arising from fire safety concerns, the Government’s evolving advice on the issue, and the consequent challenges to the consistent valuation of buildings potentially and actually affected by fire safety problems, RICS is working closely with residential valuers, the lending industry, conveyancers and key fire safety bodies. As a part of this RICS will determine whether updated RICS advice to valuers is required as a result of the Government’s newly published statement. Any new or updated formal RICS advice will be subject to approval by RICS’s independent Standards and Regulation Board, whose role is to ensure that it appropriately balances the public interest. It is anticipated that this advice will be issued for open consultation in early January 2021.

In the meantime, RICS Registered Valuers should continue to work in accordance with RICS’ existing published information set out below. We will update these pages with further relevant information in advance of the publication of updated advice:

RICS valuers should remain vigilant to uphold required levels of care and professionalism. Particular attention should be paid to competence and appropriate professional indemnity insurance cover, the latest RICS policy on which can be found here:

https://www.rics.org/uk/upholding-professional-standards/regulation/regulatory-support/professional-indemnity/pii-in-the-uk/