RPSA provides guidance in respect of external cladding on high rise buildings

In the wake of the terrible events of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) has today issued guidance to its Surveyor members to assist them when encountering properties that may have external cladding.

It will of course take quite some time for the public enquiry led by Sir Martin Moore-Bick to report on any impact that external cladding at Grenfell Tower may have had on the fire on 14th June. In the mean while however, property surveyors must continue to go about their every-day business, and at a time like this they have a responsibility to offer a considered assessment of any risks that may be present as far as current knowledge exists when surveying a property, and at the same time avoid causing unnecessary disruption to the property market.

RPSA Chairman, Alan Milstein, says:

“First of all, our Association offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and its thoughts and sympathies are with the many people whose everyday lives have been affected by this terrible fire.’

“We are very mindful that, at a time when there are few facts, but many opinions, some of which may not be based on broad knowledge, we need to give our members guidance as to how they should report on different property types. It would be too easy for Surveyors to blight any property that has any type of external cladding when the reality is that it may not be of the type that is currently of concern.”

Accordingly, RPSA has recommended that its members consider a range of factors including the property type, and the age and nature of building’ and where they have genuine concerns, take a cautious approach and recommend further investigations be conducted.

Guidance includes information about the types of claddings currently under investigation, and the advice that has been issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government to both private and social property owners.

Milstein goes on to say that:

“The Council of RPSA are very aware that consumers and home buyers look to professional Surveyors to provide them with as much clarity as possible when making decisions and choices. In an environment which, unsurprisingly, includes a good deal of emotional reaction, we hope that we can assist Surveyors in achieving measured and reasonable comment that will prove of value”.

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