We would like to reassure you that you are safe. EVML is in regular contact with the local fire service, and have taken all their advice and suggested measures to mitigate any risk to you and your neighbours.
What is the EWS1 form for?
The government issued guidance about external wall safety throughout 2018 and 2019. It established the need to inspect the external wall systems for fire safety.
The EWS1 form (or certificate) was developed by lenders with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors to document the outcome of an assessment of the external wall construction of tall buildings.
Getting the information required to complete this form often requires significant intrusive inspection and testing of the fabric of the building. This is because to comply with current government safety guidelines, building owners cannot rely on the fact a building received Building Control sign off at the time it was built.
Many mortgage lenders will look at the EWS1 rating of a building in their decisions of whether to issue a mortgage on a property.
What happens next?
EVML has commissioned an engineer and design team to produce a fully costed specification to submit to the MHCLG Building Safety Fund and to prepare for the necessary remedial work.
We are currently waiting to hear whether the buildings are eligible for the fund. EVML and their technical experts are liaising with the MHCLG about this.
Will leaseholders be charged for the costs of the building safety work?
We will do all we can to protect leaseholders from the cost of remedial work and are hoping to receive government funding and are working with EVML to progress any legal routes to cost recovery. These are both uncertain and we know this issue is worrying for you.
EVML has registered the blocks in N26 for the government’s Building Safety Fund and the Waking Watch Relief Fund. We are waiting for news on each and will let you know as soon as we hear. The purpose of the Waking Watch Relief Fund is to cover the costs for installing the common alarm system which allowed the removal of the Waking Watch.
At this stage we do not know the timescales for review. EVML meet regularly with the MHCLG to progress the application process and to discuss the technical issues. We have begun the Section 20 process as a mechanism to consult with you and because it is a legal requirement. Undertaking this process also highlights that the charges may be passed to you in your service charge. We are a long way from that stage yet, and we remain determined to follow all possible routes of funding before we pass anything onto leaseholders. We’ll keep you updated about any impact on your service charge.
Doesn't the reserve, or sinking fund, cover the work that is required?
Some residents have raised the possibility of using the reserve, or “sinking” fund, as a way of offsetting costs to residents.
At East Village, the sinking fund is used for two main purposes, the long-term maintenance and repair of the blocks (lift renewal etc.) and shorter term projects such as the decoration programme. The fund is held by EVML on your behalf and audited annually. Some residents would like to draw on these funds for the fire safety work. However, on an East Village wide level, using the sinking funds for the fire safety works would leave the fund unable to meet the future obligations to repair the blocks.