Barely a day goes by without the media highlighting some of the terrible problems being encountered by the owners high rise flats due to fire safety issues. What should a conveyancer do when acting for a seller or buyer.
If acting for a seller what can be done :
- Point the client(s) towards the numerous self help groups that have grown up in most of the affected towns and cities.
- Highlight the position with regard to the availability and or production of the EWS1
- Ensure as much information as is possible is available concerning service charge
- Check the information available from the landlord either in landlord’s replies, or additional enquiries.
If acting for a buyer
- Check the lease for service charge provisions.
- Advise the client for the need for survey and check what the surveyor advises with regard to fire safety issues.
- Advise the client for the need for advice in connection with service charge accounts
- Identify what assistance the landlord has or has applied for in connection with fire safety provision.
As a transactional property lawyer it is important to appreciate that an EWS1 is not a fire safety certificate and if one is available that advice will be required as to its contents either from the surveyor, valuer, or a fire safety specialist.
In addition a buyer client needs to be warned as to their potential vulnerability with regard to ongoing service charges and conveyancers should limit the scope of the retainer to avoid the potential for liability arising from losses sustained by clients relating to additional service charge costs .
The webinar on the 3rd August 2021 at 10am will consider these issues as well as outlining the key features of the the Building Safety Bill – a significant and ambitious piece of legislation presented to parliament on the 5th July 2021. We will also explore some of the problems associated with ground rents.
Extensive notes will be provided to delegates and there will be an opportunity for delegate questions.
See all upcoming training opportunities here: https://www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk/todays-training/