Scammers Utilising EWS1 Forms
Criminals are duping leaseholders in multiple apartment buildings across the country into paying them thousands of pounds by faking External Wall Fire Reviews (EWS1) forms.
The cladding used in apartment buildings is a troublesome subject for the government, who have tried to improve fire safety in the buildings since the tragedy that occurred in Grenfell in 2017.
The publication Which? purports to have seen evidence of the scams.
In a recent article it published:
“The forged forms, used to confirm whether a building contains materials that carry an increased fire risk, may also have been used to contract out thousands of pounds worth of work based on lies.
“The scammers have forged the names and signatures of qualified surveyors to pass and fail buildings. Some forms we’ve seen have been signed off by surveyors who simply don’t exist.
“In another case, ‘cladding technicians’ without the necessary qualifications have also signed off EWS1 forms.
“We believe some of the fake EWS1 forms could be used to tender millions of pounds worth of construction work and fire safety measures to linked companies with vested interests.”
Another consequence that could impact people living in the buildings, is the fact that the fake forms could void their mortgages and home insurance policies, if they have been agreed on the back of these false documents.
Which? went on to publish two examples of people who had discovered the fake forms. It wrote:
“A flat owner in London, who didn’t want to be names, told us he’s discovered leaseholders in his building have paid £20,000 for surveys and a forged EWS1 form. He believes the surveys were never carried out.
“Peter, a leaseholder in a building in Cardiff that was targeted by scammers, realised the form supplied to them was fake just before leaseholders were about to pay more than £100,000.
“Luckily, one of the block’s volunteer directors discovered that the company invoicing them wasn’t insured to do the work.”