It has been brought to the attention of ESPC and our members that there are currently issues with selling and buying properties that have a cladding finish.

Surveyors are acting on instructions from most lenders which says that they are to follow a specific reporting style if they suspect the external wall finish of certain blocks of flats may contain potentially combustible materials.

The advice was issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in London. Specific details can be found on the UK Government's website.

If potentially combustible materials are suspected, then a satisfactory report will be required to be prepared from a member of a suitable qualified organisation.

To allow these properties to be sold and remortgaged, RICS, UK Finance/lenders and other stakeholders have been working on a reporting and certification process. This process has now been agreed. Once signed by a suitably qualified surveyor, the certificate, called the EWS1, will mean that lenders are able to consider lending on the property.

This is an important first step in the process of resolving the current issues.

The assessment is required to be completed by a suitably qualified person. A list of qualified organisations can be found in Information Note 1 (Annex A).

ESPC is engaging with other industry stakeholders as well as government and parliament to continue to work towards resolving this problem permanently for buyers and sellers. We will ensure to keep our member solicitor estate agents updated about further developments.

For homebuyers and sellers who have been affected by this issue or are concerned it might affect them, we advise them to get in touch with their solicitor to find out more.