Conveyancing Association launches cladding guidance

The Conveyancing Association (CA) has launched new guidance to help steer its members on what they should be looking for when it comes to cladding.

Earlier this month, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, Michael Gove, gave property developers a deadline of early March to agree a fully funded plan of action to fix the cladding crisis.

This includes remediating unsafe cladding on 11-18-metre buildings, currently estimated at £4bn.

The CA’s Guidance on Cladding document has been produced following significant concern and ongoing intervention on the nature of property cladding, what is acceptable, what official documentation needs to be completed, and the implications for those purchasing property with any cladding attached. 

It covers a number of areas, such as the External Wall System (EWS1) Form, and contains a checklist for conveyancers to follow, and a list of relevant professional bodies able to complete an EWS1.

The CA said that, with a building safety regulator to be created as part of the Building Safety Act, the Guidance would need regular updating and it would be keeping a close watch on how official guidance evolved in order to produce future editions. 

Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at The CA, said: “Understandably, the issue of cladding has been a key one for all conveyancing firms, especially as the official guidance shifts and government legislation impacts on property requirements — particularly for EWS1 Forms. 

“After years of stone-walling, we appear to have some significant welcome movement which we hope means leaseholders in buildings over 11 metres do not have to fund the removal of their cladding themselves, putting many into debt and currently leaving large numbers in homes they cannot remortgage or sell. 

“Clarity is however still required, and conveyancers need to ensure they are fully aware of the rules and what they mean. 

“As such, we have produced this guidance for conveyancers in order to help them through the process and, while it is not exhaustive, it should provide a pathway to follow to protect them, their clients and the lender involved.” 

The CA also recommends members to regularly check for updates on the RICS and government websites.

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