PROPERTY JOURNAL

Cladding valuation standard updated to apply in Wales

With the Welsh government making separate provision for the remediation of residential blocks with cladding, RICS has produced a new edition of its standard supporting valuation of such buildings

Author:

  • Nigel Sellars FRICS

23 February 2024

Aerial view of Cardiff Bay on a clear sky summer day

RICS has published a second edition of its Valuation approach for properties in multi-storey, multi-occupancy residential buildings with cladding professional standard to include Wales.

The new version came into effect on 1 January and replaces the first, published in December 2022, which applied only to England.

Developed in collaboration with Welsh government officials, this second edition is designed to support professionals valuing properties in buildings with cladding, as well as potential buyers and sellers.

The standard will help valuers carrying out valuations for secured lending purposes on domestic flats in residential blocks of five or more storeys or 11m or more in height, in line with the remediation schemes and qualifying lease protections in England and with the Welsh government's building safety programme. The document also supports valuations of such buildings for other purposes.

For residential blocks or flats of four storeys or fewer or under 11m, the principles contained in this standard may apply, along with the information set out in the first edition.

Surveyors should confirm the valuation approach with their client before commencing the instruction. The standard does not apply to individual terraced, semi-detached or detached houses, bungalows or developments considered to be non-domestic.

Revision reflects distinct remediation regimes

The updated standard introduces a section applicable only to Wales, with the earlier requirements that applied only in England now presented in their own section. For the avoidance of doubt, the valuation approach in England and Wales is identical; the differences relate to the respective remediation arrangements in each nation.

The standard has also been updated to reflect related building safety developments, such as the inception of the Cladding Safety Scheme – formerly the Medium Rise Scheme – in England (residential buildings between 11m and 18m in London).

Greater London Authority will continue to operate the Building Safety Fund for buildings over 18m in the greater London area.

If government policy changes to offer funding to remediate cladding on buildings below 11m or is extended to include Northern Ireland and Scotland, RICS will consult with the standard's expert working group to produce a further edition.

Commenting on the new standard, Welsh minister for climate change Julie James MS says: 'The Welsh government and RICS have worked closely to develop this guidance … [to] provid[e] consistency and transparency in the valuation process for flats in Wales affected by potential fire safety issues, and not just those related to cladding.

'The updated guidance will assist valuers and lenders in their decision-making, which in turn will help to reduce friction and delay for homebuyers, sellers and leaseholders who want to remortgage their homes.'

RICS head of valuation Ben Elder adds: 'We are pleased to be able to extend our standard to include Wales, following the establishment of the Welsh building safety fund. This brings much-needed confidence to buyers, sellers, and the market, and ensures a consistent approach. We look forward to working with the Welsh government to ensure an orderly and swift implementation.'

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Guidance builds public trust

One of RICS' key strategic aims in 2024 is to strengthen trust in the profession – the updated guidance supports this, as well as the RICS' overall public interest remit.

While the primary users of the standard will be RICS valuers – and, in turn, their lender clients – the general public will ultimately benefit from the consistency, clarity and collective industry support provided in the standard's development.

As well as the revised standard, RICS offers additional resources for professionals working in the field, answering frequently asked questions on cladding external wall systems (EWSs) and providing an online information centre on the Building Safety Act 2022.

Nigel Sellars FRICS is senior specialist, property, at RICS
Contact Nigel: Email

Related competencies include: Fire safety, Valuation

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