For a while now, those living in flats with cladding have found it difficult to get a mortgage as lenders worry about the potential fire risk since the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. But there is some good news as several of our largest banks have agreed to lend on some high-rise blocks.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, NatWest and Santander will now consider applications from those living in flats 11 metres or taller with cladding as long as there are plans to remove it and documents confirming this. This will come as a relief to many homeowners. Since January 2020 anyone wanting a mortgage on most buildings with cladding have had to have an EWS1 form, a survey confirming that it is not a fire risk.

However, it is not all good news. While the government has also guaranteed that leasehold owners living in blocks at least 11 metres tall won’t have to pay to remove their cladding, they won’t be able to get a mortgage unless a developer signs a contract with the government confirming it will pay for the works. Many people could still be stuck in limbo, unable to sell and having to put their lives on hold until a solution is found.

This can be an issue for those remortgaging, even if a lender will agree to it, a lower valuation could mean you fall into a higher loan-to-value band and therefore have to pay a higher rate, which could cost a lot more in the current climate. Those buying a property in a high-rise should ensure they get a full survey done before committing to the purchase, so you know what you are getting yourself into.

For information as to which lenders may be able to assist, please contact AWS Private Finance. We will advise as to the best course of action and scour the market on your behalf to find the right mortgage for your circumstances.