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This page was last updated 25 June 2021
We understand that a number of actions have been undertaken:
1. A pre-occupation Fire Risk Assessment was carried out on 17 December 2018. Additionally, Southern Housing Group carried out a Fire Risk Assessment of the premises on 11 December 2019.
2. We are aware that a Fire Risk Assessment has also been carried out by WN Developments and we have requested a copy of this document.
3. The external walls of the building were initially assessed by Southern Housing Group in 2021 and an External Wall Survey (EWS) was completed. Following this survey, we understand that an EWS1 form at a B2 rating was awarded to Mariner Point. We have seen that this is not usually of a standard that will be acceptable to mortgage lenders
4. The full results of the survey are current with the local Fire Service, which is looking at the findings and making recommendations as to what next steps will be necessary for the EMA and freeholder to take
5. We have written to the freeholder at Mariner Point to request a copy of the EWS1 form, and to remind them that they have a duty to apply for any available government funding to cover the cost of remedial work. We have also requested a meeting with the freeholder to discuss how they see this project moving forward. This letter can be found in the Important Documents section.
We would like to reassure our residents their home is safe. All of our homes have an up-to-date Fire Risk Assessment, which are independently reviewed every year and any recommendations are dealt with immediately or, where appropriate, put into a programme of work to be completed within a suitable timeframe. We are in regular contact with the local fire service, and have taken all their advice and suggested measures to mitigate any risk to residents.
We have requested a meeting with the freeholder of the building to discuss what a timeline could look like. As soon as we have any further information on this, we will let residents know.
We are waiting for further information from the freeholder on the exact scope of the work that will take place. As soon as we have this, we will let residents know what they can expect.
Mariner Point currently has a STAY PUT policy in the event of a fire. Unless the fire is directly affecting your home, you should stay within it, and await further instruction from the fire service. You should also familiarise yourself with the current fire safety advice for your building.
We will do all we can to protect leaseholders from these costs, and will work with the External Managing Agents to apply for government funding and to recover costs from third parties where this option is available.
We are a charitable housing association and the way we are run and how we spend our money is regulated by the government. What this means in practice is that if we cannot find an alternative source of reimbursement for the costs of the work then we are obliged to seek to recover costs under the terms of leases. This is because the way we spend our money is subject to strict rules and we are not permitted to write off these costs if there is an alternative option. This is never our preferred way forward and we understand that this may be concerning for leaseholders. We hope that this will not be necessary but it would be wrong not to be clear about the possibility at this stage.
We will be working closely with the External Managing Agents to ensure that the building safety programme is completed as soon as possible, although we recognise that this is a nationwide issue affecting many homes and therefore there may be some delays. If you are in hardship because of the timing of the programme for your building please speak to us.
We want to support our residents and recognise that this is stressful time for many. There may be other options that we can discuss with you that could help. In some circumstances, permission to sub-let to a tenant may be granted, although this is subject to our sub-letting policy conditions.
If you have fully staircased so that you now own the lease to your home then the terms of your lease will apply if you want to consider letting your home. You will still require permission, but we can provide more information if this applies to you. If you are a shared owner then our subletting policy will apply. We will consider subletting requests from shared owners but subject to strict criteria being met. Please contact us for more details if this applies to you.
We completely understand how important it is to be able to get reliable information. Our Building Safety Team will work closely with the EMA to ensure that information is available to residents and us, in a timely manner.
For general housing related issues your Housing Services Manager continues to be Louise Kirk.
However, for all building safety issues including the progress of the programme the building safety team will be happy to answer your questions.
It can sometimes take a while to find the answer to things so please bear with us – we know this is a worrying time for residents so we will do our best to support you and answer your questions as fully as we can with the information we have.
We'll be updating these pages whenever there is new information.
External Wall Surveys are intended for recording in a consistent manner what assessment has been carried out for the external wall construction of residential apartment buildings where the highest floor is 18 metres or more above ground level or where specific concerns exist on buildings lower than 18 metres.
The EWS1 form (or certificate) was developed by experts to help building owners record what assessment of the external wall construction of buildings has been carried out and the outcomes. Getting the information required to complete this form often requires significant intrusive 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.
Residents should be aware that Southern Housing Group is not in possession of the form. We have requested it from the freeholder, and will make it available upon request once we have received it.
You may find that your, or your potential buyer’s chosen mortgage lender is requesting an External Wall System (EWS) 1 form. Under most circumstances, you find that mortgage lenders are not willing to accept properties without a form, and in the process of investigation. However, we have been made aware that some lenders are willing to consider lending on properties such as Mariner Point, so we would recommend speaking to your lender or mortgage advisor to see what could be possible.
Together with our colleagues at the G15, a group of the largest housing associations in London, we are calling on the government to step in and provide clear guidance for both building owners and mortgage lenders on the proportionate implementation of their building safety advice notes.
Our hope is that this will reassure residents, encourage mortgage lenders to take a more considered view, and give building owners a reasonable and realistic timeframe in which to follow government advice.