February 26, 2024

Day: April 11, 2022

How to locate a authentic estate agent in Southern California

Congratulations! If you are shifting on to Step 4, that means you are already previous what may be the worst aspect of the property-obtaining method: figuring out funding.

It is practically time for the most exciting portion, exactly where you can in fact commence browsing for homes, aspiration-scrolling by way of homes on Zillow or Redfin and fantasizing about how to configure the living place or wherever to set your plants.

But in advance of that, one much more choice awaits: employing a genuine estate agent.

In the fashionable age, it can be tempting to skip this and navigate the market by yourself. The online has taken out the Realtor as sole gatekeeper of the real estate business, and everyone can now accessibility assets information and facts that was as soon as minimal to certified brokers. It has also opened up a new way to come across brokers, who publicize on their own on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube — several turning to these social media platforms throughout the pandemic, when in-individual meetings and excursions had been not probable.

Irrespective of this, there are nonetheless a myriad of reasons why it’s smarter to search for out an agent. As a purchaser, you actually have nothing at all to reduce mainly because most contracts stipulate that the vendor pays the fee for the buyer’s agent.

Here’s a checklist of duties that agents can perform past basically finding you a household to tour.

Industry wisdom

Sure, the neighborhood you’re eyeing just bought a new vegan bakery and a espresso store where you can convey your canine, but does that mean house rates will value? Any excellent agent will realize the market place and, utilizing MLS knowledge, discern whether or not it is a fantastic strategy to spend in an place.

Diverse agents have distinctive guidelines and tips too, and it is truly worth at least figuring out what they are. 1, for case in point: “I would keep away from new listings,” claimed Hektor Castillo, an agent concentrating on product sales in the L.A. space who is energetic on TikTok and Instagram.

“My tactic to enable initial-time consumers is to display them attributes that have been on the market for a lot more than 20 days,” he mentioned. “Properties that were being just mentioned today will have numerous delivers tomorrow. The competitors will be powerful.” Castillo stated he not long ago shut two deals this way and is in escrow on a third.

If a home price tag appears too good to be real, it likely is, and expert agents can assistance you spot and control that, as nicely. Lower prices intended to spur bidding wars are frequent. Agent Loida Velasquez said her strategy is to issue that in early when thinking of households, normally telling her consumers: “Let’s start out small and have that wiggle space.”

“Any consumer I’m operating with, let’s say they are qualified for $600,000, I say, ‘Let’s glance up to $550,000 so you have a cushion to appear up,’” Velasquez mentioned. A house with a reduced-ball listing of $550,000, she included, “is almost certainly likely to provide at $700,000.”

Producing an provide

With so substantially revenue at stake, dwelling negotiations can be a brutal method, and in a marketplace as competitive as Southern California’s, you want an professional who has been there right before and can answer credibly when features and counteroffers go flying back and forth. If you try to negotiate with the seller’s agent yourself, they may perhaps haggle more challenging if they scent inexperience.

Negotiate inspections

Rate negotiations are one issue, but if a number of presents occur in, the vendor may get started inquiring you to waive inspection or appraisal contingencies. It’s a dangerous transfer, but performing so may set your give over the relaxation, and your agent can tell you no matter whether it’s worth accomplishing.

In the end, a true estate agent functions for you. L.A. has countless numbers of them, and getting the suitable a single can be too much to handle. In point, California has the second-optimum range of Realtors of any condition: 212,279, according to 2021 info from the Nationwide Assn. of Realtors.

Most buyers’ very first impulse is to go with a person they know, these kinds of as a friend or family members member. It can make sense if you go with someone you can trust, you can be sure they have your best fascination in thoughts. On the other hand, in a current market as competitive as this just one, you want to make positive your agent is an qualified in whichever community you’re eyeing.

For instance, when Courtney Northrop was household searching, she toured a home in North Hollywood. The seller’s agent was from Riverside and not acquainted with the area, and he priced the property way as well large. It languished on the marketplace with small interest, and when Northrop finished up purchasing the residence, she did not have to compete against any other consumers and received a wonderful offer.

“They could’ve had a bidding war if it was priced appropriately,” Northrop mentioned.

Further than experience, your agent should have connections. Compass agent Brent Chang picked up a consumer who mentioned he’d created 6 presents, but none was acknowledged. With Chang, he submitted one offer you, and it was accepted even though it was a little bit reduce than the some others simply because Chang experienced worked with the seller’s agent right before.

“Listing agents like protection. If they have an give which is a bit reduced but they’re certain the deal will make it by way of escrow due to the fact they’re acquainted with your agent, they’ll ordinarily go with that 1,” Chang said.

Acquiring an agent who checks all the boxes normally takes investigation. Use Google or a genuine estate listing web-site to lookup for agents based mostly in a particular neighborhood, but also ask all around. Go to open residences and communicate to the brokers you fulfill. See who your mates utilised, and whether they had a good knowledge.

A different great system is to look at modern discounts that shut in the community and come across out which agents have been associated. If you see names pop up much more than at the time, those agents most likely know what they are executing. If no names are sticking out, inquire pals or household for a advice.

“Your agent should have an ear to the ground in the precise market place exactly where you are seeking,” said Josh Altman, a Douglas Elliman agent and star of “Million Dollar Listing,” a fact display pursuing L.A. agents. “They ought to know almost everything coming to the market place, all the things being crafted and each individual possible vendor.”

With countless numbers of agents competing for company, lots of try out to stand out on social media to get millennials’ attention — specifically in a area as image conscious as Southern California. Take care of all those platforms the way you would if you observed an agent in an advert or read about them by means of buddies: Do your exploration.

Comply with the top rated agents in your area on their TikTok, Instagram or YouTube accounts, and look for proof of how lively they are and their consumer successes. Make absolutely sure the brokers are advertising their operate instead of themselves. If you see an individual cranking out 5 viral posts every single solitary day, they’re possibly not shelling out as considerably time on their purchasers as they must be.

Altman, currently a superstar in the market, said that he didn’t anticipate to get massive on TikTok, but that it provides in new business, in particular from younger customers, who spend a whole lot of time on the system. “It’s not just about people today dancing. It is yet another avenue prospective purchasers use to uncover residences and agents,” he mentioned.

Individuals savvy on social media often pass on names and property sales opportunities from Instagram and TikTok to their parents, claimed Castillo, who recently has identified YouTube to be pretty beneficial in connecting him with opportunity purchasers.

As soon as you have some potential clients, job interview at minimum 3. Ask them about the market. Question them what you can hope in your rate assortment. Inquire them how a lot of other shoppers they have. Inquire them whether you’ll be working with them or a single of their assistants. Question them how they’ll make your provide stand out from other buyers’.

“It’s Alright to connect with close to for distinctive agents. If I’m up from anyone else, that would make me function more challenging,” Altman claimed. “If I can not come across somebody a property, I did not do my position.”

If you are glad with an agent’s responses, and you connect on a particular level, then you’re very good to go.

Take note: Actual estate agents make revenue only when you acquire a house, and a poor agent will test to hurry you through the process. If at any issue you come to feel force from an agent to make an give or acknowledge an give, wander away. There are loads of fish in the sea (and loads of brokers in L.A.).

Terrible brokers may possibly also attempt to make you decide on a particular residence dependent on how a great deal fee they obtain. Unique listings have diverse commissions for your agent a person dwelling might promise 2% but a further might supply 3%. If you’re picking among a couple of distinct homes, talk to your agent how a lot commission is at stake for every a single.

Occasionally the stars align — you and the agent appear to be like a match — and even now there are interaction snags. The more you know, the improved concerns you can ask, the much more prepared you are to reply queries, and the smoother the sailing will be.
Sarah Tran and her partner arrived into their residence-acquiring journey educated and organized, and nevertheless they hit delays close to the conclusion that she attributed to patchy facts from their Real estate agent.

“I come to feel like he did not really do a very good task of going for walks us as a result of the course of action, the deadlines, the forms necessary. I was disappointed,” Tran, 31, said. They shut on their North Very long Seashore dwelling in December with a two-day hold off.

A couple sit in their backyard.

John and Sarah Tran purchased a residence in Extensive Seashore in December. She needs they experienced had better communication with their Realtor about the course of action.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

One more way?

There are some other ways to go about acquiring a residence over and above the normal authentic estate agent and financial loan. This is 2022 right after all, and a handful of providers now supply approaches to acquire a home in a fewer-traditional way.

Two major styles are businesses that put forth a dollars offer you on your behalf and companies that assist with a down payment in exchange for a share of your fairness.

Linda Sherry, a director with the nonprofit Consumer Action, claimed the new solutions could be “reasonable, but with nearly anything like this the satan is in the depth.”

She noted that the extensive-expression outcomes of these merchandise have still to be disclosed, so customers really should be further careful. She advised speaking with a housing counselor or a authentic estate attorney to vet the goods beforehand.

If you want much more depth on the companies, right here is a sampling:

All-income presents: Flippers and other tiny-time traders have long offered to pay back house owners money for their homes. Sellers like an all-hard cash offer you since it is a fast sale with no have to have for a consumer to line up financing that may perhaps tumble by means of.

Recently, organizations referred to as ibuyers, or instant purchasers, created a splash in the genuine estate entire world with all-hard cash offers backed by Wall Avenue buyers and on the web methods that streamline the system.

Now, some businesses are providing future potential buyers a way to use money so their bids can stand out.

One particular of them is Flyhomes, which gives you a short-phrase loan to invest in a house in cash. Just after the deal closes, you can then perform with your loan provider or Flyhomes to get into a prolonged-expression bank loan.

Other firms — including Opendoor and Ribbon — will back again your financed offer you with their funds and agree to acquire the home if your house loan does not arrive via on time. If that takes place, the providers say they will then market the house again to you at the original cost when you safe funding.

Flyhomes and Opendoor also offer some sort of purchaser assurance if you use their companies and shift into your new residence and never like it. If that is the situation, Opendoor will invest in some houses back, while Flyhomes will checklist and market your property with no charging a commission.

Fairness Sharing: For people who require enable with a down payment and do not mind sacrificing some potential gain, equity-sharing firms could be an possibility. These organizations provide financial loans that really don't demand curiosity, but rather declare some of the improve in the home’s value.

One particular enterprise is Noah, which will lend you as considerably as 15% of your home’s buy price tag to put toward a down payment. You’d have 10 a long time to pay it back again, which you could do with financial savings, with proceeds from the sale of your property or with funds from a dollars-out refinancing.

When you choose to pay out the funds back again — possibly at the 10-12 months mark or just before — an impartial appraisal is carried out, stated Noah Main Govt Sahil Gupta. If the property has improved in worth, you owe what Noah initially gave you, furthermore a share of the home’s selling price appreciation.

The Great SoCal House Hunt

Up coming: Make the most of open properties

Here are some open up property dos, don’ts and purple flags — with a useful checklist to remind you what to ask and appear out for.

If the home’s value declined, you really don't owe every little thing Noah gave you, Gupta said. Instead, you owe the authentic sum minus a percentage of the decrease in benefit.

A usual break up is 65% of the home’s appreciation or depreciation goes to you, even though 35% goes to Noah, Gupta explained. The percentages change in Noah’s favor if you have very poor credit history or Noah contributed the greatest 15% of a home’s worth.

A very similar fairness-sharing selection arrives from the company Landed. However, its solutions are minimal to “essential professionals” this kind of as teachers, healthcare personnel and federal government personnel.

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5 takeaways from Canada’s 2022 funds

Inflation is raising the cost of residing about the earth, Freeland stated in the House of Commons.

“Snarled supply chains have driven rates bigger at the checkout counter,” she explained. “Buying a house is out of achieve for significantly too lots of Canadians. And now, [Vladimir] Putin’s barbaric war is creating meals and fuel even extra pricey.”

Below are five takeaways from Freeland’s funds:

Uncertainty is specified.

Throughout her price range speech, Freeland called Feb. 24 a working day of infamy that has transformed the environment. “When Putin opened fire on the people today of Ukraine, he also turned his guns on the unparalleled prosperity that the world’s democracies had labored so diligently to build more than extra than 76 years,” she claimed.

The budget devotes webpages to war and its probable spillovers. “The Canadian financial state is less uncovered to the economic fallout than other areas (e.g. Europe),” the document suggests. “On the other hand, ” it provides, there is a extended list of vulnerabilities: sanctions, disrupted world wide trade, tighter money problems and supplemental stress on supply chains.

The finance office contains a worst-scenario scenario that capabilities mounting inflation and higher electricity costs, source shortages and a sharp slowdown in world-wide progress.

“The heightened amount of uncertainty, alongside with the deterioration of the international economic outlook, is also affecting investor and organization self-assurance globally,” the finances states.

Affordability is almost everything.

Mounting inflation has shimmied affordability to the best of the government’s precedence checklist.

A suite of housing measures get leading billing in the government’s budget, reflecting Canadians’ anxieties about the expense of living. They include new applications to help more hire-to-individual assignments a new multi-generational property renovation tax credit score to aid people establish secondary suites and a assure to enhance housing stock by doubling the amount of new builds more than the future ten years.

The spending budget will have to be accepted by Parliament. Strategic procedures baked into the funds are guaranteed to lock in the guidance of opposition New Democrats, whose votes are necessary to steer clear of a snap election.

1 of those insurance policies is a C$5.3 billion assure to supply dental care for Canadians with annual domestic incomes a lot less than C$90,000, starting with young children this year. It is a assure that satisfies just one of the situations of a historic deal concerning the Liberals and NDP to continue to keep Key Minister Justin Trudeau’s federal minority federal government in spot right up until 2025.

It is time to allow superior situations roll — for now.

A stronger-than-expected restoration from the pandemic and a surge in vitality selling prices have presented Freeland a great deal a lot more income to operate with. But there is a worry within the federal government that it’s not heading to very last.

The strengthen to commodity selling prices, pushed in substantial part by Russia’s war, has assisted the useful resource-prosperous country’s bottom line. But Freeland’s finances warns that the steep climb in costs risks hurting homes and further more disrupting the world trade of merchandise and products and services.

And even though Canada’s expansion profile seems encouraging in the in the vicinity of term, it’s not looking fantastic more than the medium-phrase, a senior federal government formal suggested in a background briefing. The official flagged new OECD quantities on for a longer period-operate, per-capita growth likely that put Canada lifeless final among the group’s economies.

“It’s a extremely major concern — and it has large and difficult roots and no one budget is heading to resolve it,” the formal explained.

The formal explained there are three world wide things at enjoy amid all the other unknowns — China’s ambitions, widening protectionism and the fallout of the war. The speed and “simultaneity” of their emergence is whipping up the most be concerned, the formal reported.

“The phrase ‘uncertainty’ is a major piece of our wondering, the government’s thinking, in the formulation of this budget,” the official mentioned.

The Trudeau government used the extra fiscal area to cut down Canada’s deficits and to only introduce little investments. Canada is keeping its budgetary firepower.

The finances projects a 2021-2022 deficit of C$113.8 billion, or 4.6 p.c of Canada’s GDP, which is down from the C$144.5-billion estimate in December.

For 2022-2023, the federal shortfall is on observe to shrink to C$52.8 billion, or two p.c of GDP.

Covid is in the rearview mirror, in all probability.

“We bent but we did not break,” Freeland informed MPs as she tabled her finances paperwork in the Residence. Be aware the past tense. The finance minister’s speech and her 280-web site spending budget mostly address Covid-19 like a thing Canada is accomplished with.

But Omicron’s BA.2 is now the dominant variant in numerous Canadian communities and expanding quickly. The head of Ontario’s scientific advisory desk estimates there are involving 100,000 and 120,000 new circumstances each day in the province.

It’s really hard to keep track of energetic cases and there are 8 “N/A” provinces and territories on the federal “current situation” map. At minimum anecdotally, every person is familiar with a person who has Covid.

“Canada has appear roaring back,” Freeland reported Thursday — a callback to a inventory line the authorities has repeated because the outset of the pandemic.

The 2022 budget does include a pair of passing references about the resurgence of Covid-19 in China “and other locations supply chains.”

The federal government has also earmarked C$20 million around 5 years for the analyze of the extensive-expression impacts of Covid-19, but most other programs are winding down from C$17.7 billion in pandemic assist in the very last calendar year to C$400 million for 2022-2023.

Weather coverage is financial plan.

Massive quantities of dollars are at stake in the vitality-transition era and the price range acknowledges what Canada is lacking: funds.

Investments are desired to slice greenhouse fuel emissions and Ecosystem Minister Steven Guilbeault has shifted his language in recent weeks by placing extra emphasis on how cutthroat world wide levels of competition will be in a transition to greener strength sources.

A senior government formal employed Canada’s prosperous essential mineral deposits as an illustration for how all-natural resources can be harnessed to gasoline an overall economy recovering from the pandemic.

The official, who was not approved to communicate publicly on the make any difference, claimed a subset of Canada’s vital minerals sector is currently valued up to C$340 billion. “The concern is are we likely to arise from it a poorer region or a more affluent nation,” they reported.

For Canada, a significant oil-generating G-7 state, just one of the major difficulties for govt is designing aggressive local weather policies with out wiping out its personal oil and gasoline sector.

The spending plan disclosed new aspects of an investment tax credit history for carbon seize, utilization and storage created to compete with the identical U.S. 45Q tax credit history presented stateside.

A finance official informed POLITICO that they count on the Canadian credit rating to be far more generous than 45Q. One particular of the major differences in the two tax credits is that the Canadian a single presents revenue at the entrance end of the venture whereas the American 45Q gives a tax credit history for every metric ton of carbon that’s captured and sequestered at the again close of a venture.

An update on the Building Safety Bill – Legislation round-up, UK Construction Focus | Dentons

Government discussions with the industry on proposed solutions

DLUHC clarifies developer commitments to remediation

  • On 3 February 2022, the DLUHC requested more information from developers on buildings over 11 metres that they have worked on and provided additional information on the government's expectations of developers in regard to commitments to remediate. See the DLUHC letter to developers with attached Key Features Document, 3 February 2022.
  • The DLUHC confirmed it was taking steps to codify the commitments expected from developers based on their two fundamental propositions: (1) developers to commit to remediating those buildings which they themselves played a role in developing or refurbishing; and (2) developers to provide financial contributions towards a fund which will cover the costs of all other 11-18 metre buildings with critical life cladding safety defects. The commitments, which will be legally binding once agreed, include:
    • a commitment to prompt remediation of historical defects that are already identified or are discovered in future in buildings the developer or persons associated with it has had a role in developing;
    • regular reporting on pace and transparency of work;
    • compliance with agreed controls and frameworks on the proportionality of the work to be undertaken;
    • contribution to an 11-18 metre remediation fund for those buildings where direct remediation has not occurred or cannot occur;
    • evidence of senior officers and managers being fit and proper persons to undertake major-scale development with lasting social and economic impact; and
    • suitable processes to audit, assure and review membership, including consequences of joining and conditions of admission for new entrants.
  • A Key Features Document was attached to the DLUHC letter setting out:
    • a proposed method for codifying these commitments;
    • invited views on how best to: apportion contributions between participants as well as over time; operationalise and structure the fund; and ensure a proportionate approach to work, focused on critical life safety to the benefit of residents;
    • conditions that will apply to all relevant developers who commit to the terms of the remediation scheme. The scope of the conditions includes making financial contributions to the cost of remediation works relating to cladding defects on all 11-18 metre residential and mixed-use buildings; and funding and undertaking all necessary remediation work relating to buildings in which the developer played a role in developing or refurbishing.
  • Developers (who are defined as entities generating or expected to generate profits from developing residential land exceeding £[10] million per annum or those developers electing to join the scheme) were warned that those who did not meet the required criteria risked being excluded from government services, funding and planning-/construction-related services such as planning control.
  • In the Home Builders Foundation (HBF) letter to Mr Gove of 25 February 2022, HBF executive chairman, Stewart Baseley, confirmed that HBF remains "committed to the principle that leaseholders should not have to pay for necessary remediation costs arising from the design or construction of buildings they live in, and [HBF] wants to work constructively with [the DLUHC] to achieve this". Mr Baseley set out what HBF members would be able to commit to including: funding remedial works using a proportionate and risk-based approach (to be agreed); remediating buildings dating back to 1 January 2000; and withdrawing from the BSF – applicable to buildings over 18 metres.

Procurement Guidance on improving building safety

Procurement Guidance on improving building safety

26 January 2022

  • The DLUHC has commissioned and published Collaborative procurement guidance for design and construction to support building safety (26 January 2022). It was written by Professor David Mosey of King's College London and Russell Poynter-Brown of On-Pole Limited working in collaboration with the Procurement Advisory Group. The report reminds us of Dame Judith Hackitt's recommendations that procurement processes used across the construction industry need to be improved urgently. The guidance "examines evidence of the ways in which collaborative procurement can lead to safer, better-quality outcomes, and explains how clients and their project teams can use collaborative procurement". The guidance:
    • supports the new regulatory regime reforms and recommends procurement and contracting questions that should be addressed in advance of each "gateway" application;
    • supports public and private sector clients and their advisers when implementing collaborative processes, relationships and systems as features of their procurement strategies, procedures and contracts for relevant projects;
    • breaks down collaborative procurement into four specific proposals for adoption on any relevant project: "Selection by value that avoids a race to the bottom (Section 5); Early supply chain involvement that improves safety and reduces risks (Section 6); Collaborative relationships that improve commitments and involve residents (Section 7); and a golden thread of information that integrates design, construction and operation (Section 8)"; and
    • explains what systems sustain and enhance a collaborative culture (Section 9); how strategic collaboration can embed improved safety (Section 10); how collaborative procurement enables public and private sector clients and their teams to achieve other improvements in economic, social and environmental value as well as safety improvements (Section 11); and outlines team-building techniques through which the collaborative culture of in-scope building projects can be cultivated (Section 12).
  • The DLUHC intends the guidance to be updated regularly and to reflect secondary legislation accompanying the Bill.

Latest ISSG report – change of culture needed

The third annual report of the Industry Safety Steering Group

Related legislation and guidance

The Fire Safety Remediation Charges (Recovery and Enforcement) Bill

  • The Fire Safety Remediation Charges (Recovery and Enforcement) Bill is a Private Member's Bill that was presented to Parliament on 24 January 2022 by Ms Daisy Cooper MP. It aims to "introduce a moratorium on recovery and enforcement action by freeholders and managing agents relating to service charges increases, fees or demands for payment in respect of leaseholders’ share of the costs of fire safety remediation work". The second reading of the bill in the House of Commons is scheduled for 6 May 2022.

Fire Safety Act 2021

  • The Fire Safety Act 2021 received assent on April 2021 and was introduced to update fire safety measures in multi-occupied buildings. Further information about the background to the Act can be found in the Lords Library briefing The Fire Safety Bill Briefing for the Lords Stages.

Leasehold reforms planned

Building Safety Data Release, published 17 February 2022

  • Meanwhile, the government continues to publish its monthly data from its Building Safety Programme. The 51st monthly data release from the government’s Building Safety Programme can be accessed here: Building Safety Programme: monthly data release – January 2022.
  • This latest publication confirms that, at the end of January: 93% (449) of all identified high-rise residential and publicly owned buildings in England had either completed or started remediation work to remove and replace unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding; 415 buildings (86% of all identified buildings) no longer have unsafe ACM cladding systems; 100% (160) of social sector buildings have either completed or started remediation; and 88% (199) of private sector buildings have either completed or started remediation.

EWS1 Building safety forms and introduction of PAS 9980:2022

Background to EWS1 forms and recent guidance

  • External wall fire review process forms (EWS1 forms) were developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK Finance and the Building Societies Association "to support the valuation process for high-rise residential buildings with cladding". The form has been used to report on whether combustible material on the external façade of a residential building is present/absent. An EWS1 form is not a government or regulatory requirement, nor is it a building or life safety assessment.
  • RICS guidance on how to determine whether a building needs an EWS1 form was published on 8 March 2021 and effective from 5 April 2021. The guidance note was intended to support valuers undertaking valuations for secured lending purposes on domestic residential blocks of flats in the UK. For further information on EWS1 forms, read the RICS FAQs.
  • Amongst the government's proposed building safety measures proposed on 10 January 2022 were:
    • the withdrawal of the Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors (also known as the Consolidated Advice Note (CAN)) on the basis that it "has been wrongly interpreted and driven a cautious approach to building safety in buildings that are safe". The CAN, which was published in January 2020, included measures for building owners to take to ensure their buildings are safe. Lenders relied on the CAN to justify their requirement for a completed EWS1 certificate; and
    • government support for new proportionate guidance for fire risk assessors from the British Standard Institution's updated guidance.
  • The government withdrew the CAN on 10 January 2022. Future assessments are to be undertaken in accordance with British Standard PAS 9980:2022 (assessing the external wall fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings (although PAS 9980:2022 is not proposed as a replacement to an EWS1 form and previous guidance on how to use an EWS1 form is retained).
  • The government published EWS1 (or equivalent) lender data on mortgage valuations for flats: April to December 2021, United Kingdom on 17 February 2022. The data received by the DLUHC shows that most mortgage valuations for flats do not require an EWS1 form or equivalent.
  • PAS 9980:2022 – Assessing the external wall fire risk in multi-occupied residential buildings was published in March 2022 to provide "a methodology for the fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing multi-storey and multi-occupied residential buildings". It is "particularly intended for use by competent fire engineers and other competent building professionals tasked with advising on the fire risk of external wall construction of existing blocks of flats".

RICS updates EWS1 form

  • RICS, UK Finance and BSA updated the EWS1 form on 16 March 2022 to reflect the withdrawal of the CAN.
  • RICS also updated the RICS guidance note. In summary, the criteria for the guidance remains valid but, following the withdrawal of the CAN, the guidance note now identifies what interim work is needed and includes a boilerplate stating that this guidance was drafted with reference to government guidance in force at the time, which has now been withdrawn and replaced with the publication of PAS 9980:2022. The guidance note remains valid and under review by RICS’ independent Standards and Regulation Board.
  • RICS believes the EWS1 form, which has been made electronic, will be easier to use – although its use should reduce as more Fire Risk Assessments are carried out under the PAS 9980.

London Mayor issues EWS1 guidance to support leaseholders

  • The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, launched new guidance to encourage landlords and managing agents to help leaseholders get EWS1 forms, to facilitate EWS1 inspections and to understand building safety risk. The EWS1 form provides "a simple assessment of building safety to support mortgage, lease and staircasing negotiations". Leaseholder and building safety organisations support the new guidance.
  • The guidance recommends that landlords and managing agents should commit to facilitating EWS1 assessments, prioritise the most at-risk buildings for assessment and clearly set out how the costs of an EWS1 assessment will be met, shared or reimbursed. Leaseholders should be kept fully informed, about not just EWS1 assessments, but also the costs and implications of wider building safety issues. See Mayor to help leaseholders get vital building safety information.

The Building Safety Fund (BSF)

Guidance on the Remediation of Non-ACM Buildings Information Relating to the Building Safety Fund

  • The government announced the creation of its Building Safety Fund (BSF) in March 2020 confirming it would provide £1 billion in funding in 2020 to 2021. The BSF was intended to support the remediation of unsafe non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding systems on residential buildings 18 metres and over in both the private and social housing sectors. The government guidance on the Remediation of non-ACM buildings, which provides information relating to the BSF for the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems, was updated on 17 March 2022.
  • Information relating to the BSF for the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems was updated on 17 February 2022. It includes "guidance for private sector building owners whose leaseholders would otherwise incur the costs through service charge arrangements and social sector housing providers who have demonstrated during the registration process that the costs of remediation are unaffordable or are a threat to financial viability".

Building Safety Fund: A step by step guide for leaseholders and residents

  • New government guidance, applicable to England: Building Safety Fund: A step by step guide for leaseholders and residents, was published on 20 January 2022. It provides a guide to the BSF process for leaseholders and residents of buildings over 17.7 metres with cladding systems that meet the BSF criteria. The aim of the BSF is to protect leaseholders from the cost of addressing fire safety risks, caused by unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on high-rise residential buildings. To help leaseholders and residents understand wording used in the BSF Leaseholder and Resident Service, a Building Safety Fund: Leaseholder and Resident Service glossary has also been published.
  • (Note that the process is slightly different for social housing applications and the DLUHC has a separate in-house team which deals with these.)
  • The guidance outlines the process of applying to the BSF. The application is made by the building's responsible person (for example, the freeholder or head leaseholder) who registers for funding and prepares the project plan for the required works for approval by the delivery partner (Homes England or The Greater London Authority). Once the plan is approved as eligible under the BSF, the responsible entity signs a legal agreement and the building works progress. Once finished, the responsible entity must submit a certificate to their delivery partner showing the works comply with building regulations and project costs. Remaining payments under the BSF will not be paid until all terms and conditions are met.

BSF process tracker launched

The Building Safety Fund Leaseholder and Resident Service

  • The Building Safety Fund Leaseholder and Resident Service is an online service set up to provide leaseholders and residents with access to information about the status of their building's application to the BSF. The service improves transparency in the process and highlights failures by building owners to take action to make buildings safe.
  • Government guidance, Find support as a leaseholder or resident of a building in the Building Safety Fund (BSF) process, was published on 11 March 2022. The guidance explains the BSF process and supports leaseholders or residents of a building that has applied to the BSF. It contains useful information such as a step-by-step guide, FAQs on the service, a glossary and a template letter for writing to the building's "responsible entity".

Welsh approach to building safety – overview

Safer Buildings in Wales – reform proposals

  • The Bill gives powers to the Welsh government to implement its own reforms to building safety in Wales. Developers working across England and Wales will therefore need to understand and implement different regulations as appropriate.
  • The Welsh government published and consulted on its proposed changes to the residential building safety regime in Wales as set out in its White Paper, Safer Buildings in Wales: A Consultation published in January 2021. The consultation documents can be found here and guidance for residents was set out here: Safer Buildings in Wales: consultation guidance for residents. The consultation ended in April 2021 and the Welsh government's response was published in December 2021.
  • While the Welsh government is taking a similar approach to reform as the UK government, including new "duty holder" roles and a golden thread flowing through a building's lifespan, there are some differences to be aware of. In summary, it covers all buildings containing two or more dwellings (i.e. not individual dwellings) which will have to have an "accountable person" and undertake an annual fire risk assessment. Buildings of 18 metres and over will be subject to the strictest requirements. Generally, the building control function for buildings of 18 metres or more will fall to local authorities.
  • The timing for the implementation of new Welsh regulations is expected to follow the UK timetable. Further details on the Welsh approach to building safety reform can be found on the Welsh government's home safety and repairs website.

Scottish approach to building safety – overview

Overview of the Scottish approach to building safety

  • The Building Safety Bill applies to England and Wales but there are also provisions that apply to Scotland (for example, the new homes ombudsmen scheme). In Scotland, currently, building safety requirements are covered by the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 (under which the Building Scotland Regulations 2004 were introduced) and fire safety is dealt with in the Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 (under which the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 were introduced).
  • Following the Grenfell Fire, the Scottish ministerial working group on building and fire safety has been meeting since June 2017 to "oversee reviews of building and fire safety frameworks, regulations and guidance, and any other relevant matters, to help ensure that people are safe in Scotland's buildings". They have:
  • The ministerial group has confirmed (here) that "Building standards in Scotland are not retrospective and unless evidence arises to the contrary, buildings that have a building warrant and valid completion certificate [will be taken as having] complied with the regulations at the time. Where evidence of non-compliance or fire safety concerns arise, for whatever reason, then building owners should take immediate action to investigate and manage the situation."
  • Developers working across the UK will therefore need to understand and implement different building safety regulations depending on where they are building.