This is an issue that we have been speaking to our RP clients about for some time.  In Dec last year the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt issued the snappily entitled “Advice Note 14”. 

What does Advice Note 14 do?

The advice note deals with fire safety on high rise (taller than 18 metres) buildings and also has a narrow definition of what comprises a “safe” external wall system. 

Advice Note 14 has retrospective effect and asks anyone who owns a high risk building to consider remediating any external wall that is not “safe”, and putting in place mitigations until those works can be carried out.

What is the impact on funding?

Funders are now looking for confirmation that buildings meet all the requirements of recent advice notes, and particular focus has fallen on Advice Note 14. Funders are increasingly requiring written confirmation that the property meets the requirements of these advice notes (prepared by a suitably qualified independent surveyor or similar professional).

 Why is this a problem?

Unfortunately, for most older buildings, insufficient information is available regarding the original construction and so surveyors are often very reluctant to provide a written confirmation that Advice Note 14 has been complied with. 

As a result, funders are sometimes refusing to lend, putting owners in a very difficult position.

 What next?

Discussions are ongoing between RICS, the funders, the Govt and RPs to try to resolve this and reach a sensible compromise. 

We have been exploring this issue with RPs, valuers etc - so please do get in touch if you would like to discuss further.