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Hundreds of thousands of flat owners caught in cladding row can finally sell their properties 

With huge demand for an EWS1 – required after the tower block fire tragedy in West London that claimed 72 lives – people could be waiting for months or even years for a surveyor’s assessment

With huge demand for an EWS1 – required after the tower block fire tragedy in West London that claimed 72 lives – people could be waiting for months or even years for a surveyor’s assessment

Hundreds of thousands of homeowners caught in the post-Grenfell cladding scandal can finally sell their properties after the Government eased the rules.

Flat owners have been stuck because of a regulation that required surveyors to carry out an external wall fire review, known as an EWS1, before a flat could be sold or remortgaged.

With huge demand for an EWS1 – required after the tower block fire tragedy in West London that claimed 72 lives – people could be waiting for months or even years for a surveyor’s assessment.

But the Government yesterday announced the forms will no longer be necessary for buildings that do not have cladding.

However the move does not help those in flats with flammable cladding.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘Through no fault of their own, some flat owners have been unable to sell or remortgage their homes and this cannot be allowed to continue. That’s why the Government has secured agreement that the EWS1 form will not be needed on buildings where there is no cladding, providing certainty for the almost 450,000 homeowners who may have felt stuck in limbo.’

Campaigners had highlighted the problems of huge insurance premiums, increased costs of fire-safety watches and delays in taking life-threatening cladding off buildings.

The Government is also to provide £700,000 to train more assessors to ease delays for homeowners who still need an EWS1 form.

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