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EWS1 Forms

Volume 704: debated on Monday 29 November 2021

9. What steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ guidance on EWS1 forms is not a barrier to people selling their homes. (904411)

The Government agree with the independent review of fire safety that EWS1 forms should not be required on buildings under the height of 18 metres. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has issued guidance to professionals, as the hon. Lady will know, on when EWS1 forms are required. That is being reviewed following the independent expert group’s statement.

In February, the former Housing Secretary announced his five-point plan to bring confidence to the housing market, committing to a state-backed professional indemnity insurance scheme for professionals. We still have not seen the scheme materialise, so will the Minister provide an update today on when that scheme will become available?

The hon. Lady is quite right. We made that commitment and we adhere to it in the narrow circumstances that are required to give fire risk assessment assurers confidence that PII ought to apply. We believe that, collectively, the associated facts of the Fire Safety Act 2021 and the fire safety order, the withdrawal of consolidated advice note PAS9980, and the introduction of British Standards Institution standards, will ensure a much clearer approach to the sorts of challenges that she outlines.