My lender (bank) after free valuation of a flat which I'm purchasing requested the following 4 fire safety questions:

  1. Has a risk assessment of the materials that make up the external walls of the building been undertaken (carried out) in accordance with the latest Government advice?
  2. Did the review result in any remedial works required to the building following the review?

Where remedial work was requested as part of the review please also provide the following:

  1. Has the work commenced/been completed?
  2. Will any costs be passed on to the leaseholders?

Please note we don’t require an EWS1 form or any other cladding supporting documentation to be sent to us.

The management of the building replied YES to all questions without further clarification which suggest all fire safety work has been completed.

However, based on the answers on the form, lender declined a mortgage offer based on the valuation checks saying property doesn't meet their lending policy (I think the above questionnaire was a main reason), without asking about any further documents about the certificates (e.g. EWS1) or costs involved.

The purpose of EWS1 form is to prove that the building is safe after cladding crisis in the UK and the building already received the highest A1 rating, but the lender didn't require that.

How I can prove to the lender that the building is safe (and meet fire-safety requirements) if they don't want to accept External Wall Fire Review (EWS1)? Are there any other forms, reviews or regulations that they should accept?

Also, what could be the real reason the bank did not accept the application?

To clarify, I am a first time buyer purchasing a flat in a tall building in London.

  • 1
    What makes you "think the above questionnaire was the real reason"? Also, bank lending policies and questions asking "what could be the real reason the bank did not accept the application?" are not (as far as I'm aware) on topic.
    – Rick
    Jul 1, 2022 at 12:23
  • The cladding crisis was/is worldwide, not just in the UK
    – Dale M
    Jul 1, 2022 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


It’s probable this has nothing to do with cladding

You say that the lender refused after valuation- this suggests that you are exceeding their debt to asset ratio. That is, you’re asking to borrow more than they are comfortable of getting back in a mortgagee sale.

There’s no hard and fast rule here, but there are a number of factors counting against you: you’re a first time property owner, you’re a first time borrower, you’re buying a high-rise unit, in London, in an overcooked housing market, in a period of inflation not seen for 40 years, which means a recession, which means you could lose your job, with rising interest rates, and it’s raining (probably, it is England after all). They’re probably not going to give you more than 70-80% of their valuation which is likely less than what you’re paying.

If this was about building codes they’d tell you how to fix it. Banks are in the business of lending money. I suspect the problem is they don’t want to lend this much, to you, on this unit. As they said, the loan doesn’t meet their “criteria”.

  • and it’s raining (probably, it is England after all). It was!
    – TripeHound
    Jul 1, 2022 at 16:50

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