Gentoo Group needs a surveyor to complete controversial checks at 30 blocks

A housing association is looking for a firm to carry out fire safety assessments on all its high-rise towers and complete External Wall Fire Review (EWS1) forms for them if deemed necessary.

Sunderland-based Gentoo Group has issued a contract notice looking for a surveyor to carry out the appraisal and assessment of the external walls of its high rise blocks.


The project will be carried out over a four month period

The successful firm will then, if deemed necessary following the appraisal, be required to complete an EWS1 form for each of the affected 30 medium and high-rise blocks.

It is not clear whether any of the blocks are below 18 metres in height.

The deal is expected to be worth around £300,000 - or the equivalent of £10,000 a building.

Firms have until 4pm on 22 September to register their interest in the deal.

Earlier this month it was revealed that mortgage lenders were not planning to change their lending practices in the short term following the government’s announcement that EWS1 forms should no longer be required for blocks of less than 18m in height.

Several lenders told Building’s sister title Housing Today there will be no immediate change to their approach while they wait for updated guidance from the government and the RICS. This is despite housing secretary Robert Jenrick hailing his July announcement as a “significant step forward for leaseholders” struggling to sell homes due to the fire safety crisis.

The EWS1 forms, created by RICS to improve fire safety information after Grenfell, have been blamed for created widespread difficulties in getting homes valued and mortgaged.

The government has confirmed it will remove its Consolidated Advice Note (CAN), which recommends EWS1 forms are used on all blocks. However it has not given an indication of when the CAN will be removed, with the Ministry of Housing, Communites and Local Government saying it will be remvoed “shortly”.

Jenrick said this paved the way for a more ‘proportionate approach’, and called on lenders to ‘show leadership’ by ending their requirement for EWS1 forms on blocks of less than 18m in height.

But research by Housing Today found a lack of consistency and clarity among lenders over their approach, with most sitting tight for more information and updated guidance.