Industry bodies agree on a new process for valuation of high-rise buildings

18th December 2019

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), The Building Societies Association (BSA), and UK Finance have agreed a new process for the valuation of high-rise buildings.

External Wall Fire Review process

It is intended that the new industry-wide valuation process – known as the External Wall Fire Review process – will help individuals buy and sell homes and re-mortgage in buildings above 18 metres, or six storeys.  The industry is encouraging the owners of high-rise buildings to proactively pursue independent testing of external wall materials to safely speed up the process for buyers and sellers.

The review process will require a fire safety assessment to be conducted by a suitably qualified and competent professional.  Only one assessment will be needed for each building, which will be valid for five years.

Extensive consultation

The Review was developed following extensive consultation with a wide-range of stakeholders, including fire engineers, lenders, valuers, and other cross-industry representatives.

John Baguley, RICS Tangible Assets Valuation Director: “RICS have worked with stakeholders across industry and MHCLG, to jointly create a standardised approach between valuers and lenders that will ease current issues in the high rise property market. To unclog areas of the market, a qualified and experienced fire safety expert will be appointed by the building owner to provide a report on the buildings cladding, and associated wall system, as an additional part of the valuation process. This will ensure safety, and will also ultimately allow the high rise property market to function properly.”

Matthew Jupp, UK Finance Policy Manager commented: “The independent valuation has a key role to play in the home-buying process, helping to deliver assurance to all parties involved that a property is both safe and secure. The External Wall Fire Review is an industry-wide initiative that will further support the buying and selling of homes in this section of the market.”

How the S2 Partnership can help

S2 Partnership’s dedicated team of fire safety experts provide risk assessments, training, guidance, fire engineering, and fire safety management systems to a range of organisations.  We help clients develop robust fire safety solutions, providing the right support to protect lives, buildings, and businesses. This flexible service supports your existing competent person role, or even performs the role on your behalf. The S2 Partnership also carries out fire evacuation drills and training for fire wardens and marshals to ensure your building is prepared for emergencies.