A Glasgow homeowner has become one of the first in Scotland to be awarded a EWS1 certificate (External Wall Systems) for the fire risk assessment of her apartment building.
Park Property Management and Nixon surveyors collaborated to devise a two-stage certification inspection for owners.
Already a legal requirement in England, lenders are now insisting on the certification in Scotland although legislation remains pending.
As part of the EWS1 process, an entire building needs to be considered for fire risk. It is not possible to pass a flat for fire safety if other parts of the building are not compliant. The system created by Park Property Management assesses the whole building first, allowing follow up individual property assessments to be carried out.
Joan McFarlane, who lives in an apartment in Minerva Way in Glasgow city centre, received her certificate from Paul McDermott of Park Property Management.
Paul, MD of Park Property Management, said, “The certification arose following Grenfell to ensure that no property featured combustible materials. However initially the requirement was for individual apartments to be inspected but it made sense that the entire building needed to be considered for fire risk as there was no point in a flat passing fire safety but other parts of the building failing.
“Although not yet law the Scottish guidance advises following the same recommendations as in England. We believe we are the first property managers in Scotland to create this process which not only covers an individual property but is cognisant of the whole building. This process will satisfy lenders and valuers, and be cost effective for home owners. It’s already having an impact on mortgage approvals.”
The process requires an inspection by a qualified surveyor. The report covers wall systems, its installation, render, cladding and materials, as well as balconies, to ensure they are fire safe. The certificate is valid for five years.
Joan, who lives in a development of five blocks of 180 apartments, added, “I put my apartment on the market and the estate agent vaguely mentioned the possibility that I might need a certificate. But it was only when viewers started to ask about the cladding on the exterior of some of the blocks that I thought I better look into it and got in touch with Park Property who were already in the process of inspecting buildings. I don’t think many people realise that they need one if they want to sell their property and for buyers they need one to show to their lender.”