Q&As

Is it a legal requirement for a landlord to carry out an assessment for external wall construction of a residential building and complete form EWS1 and can a landlord recover the costs of such an assessment through service charges?

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Produced in partnership with Desmond Kilcoyne
Published on LexisPSL on 14/09/2020

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Desmond Kilcoyne provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is it a legal requirement for a landlord to carry out an assessment for external wall construction of a residential building and complete form EWS1 and can a landlord recover the costs of such an assessment through service charges?

Parliament is at present considering the draft Fire Safety Bill which is aimed at providing greater clarity over responsibility for fire safety in buildings containing more than one home. However, until new law is passed, a landlord’s obligations in relation to the safety of the external walls of a residential building will be those which are specifically agreed in the lease or which are imposed by the general law.

It is unlikely today (by reason of the way that the drafting of covenants in leases has developed in the UK) to find a covenant which imposes a specific obligation on a landlord to address fire hazards. That may change in the light of the Grenfell disaster and the new requirements on landlords in respect of fitness for habitation in short residential leases. It is unlikely that any implied term can be said to have arisen in relation to fire safety and/or external wall construction.

Instead, there are a range of common law and statutory duties which impose duties of care of various sorts on a landlord in relation to any dangers

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