The aim of the Group is to Represent the Owners Associations and Residents of High Rise developments in Scotland to Governments, Local Authorities, and Professional and other bodies, being both an ear and a mouth!


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    • 10 February

Ministers statement requested by some - from BBC Scotland Drive
Minister's Statement

4 February 2021
New Forum - now active

Over the last few weeks work has been done on a new interactive forum to enable contributions and solutions.

HRSAG planning

A team of eight members from Glasgow and Edinburgh has been drawn together. The team is regularly in contact with each other, but our fortnightly Monday Forum meeting is a key to progress. Using project management software enables us to keep track in between the meetings, where we can share documents and work on suggestions and solutions together.

First Monday Forum Meeting 25 January

At this first meeting the team

  • affirmed its commitment to the group ethos statement:-

WE agree that we are working on the principle of collaboration and working with Government, the professional bodies in banking, insurance, property and surveying.

We aim to be part of the solution, not an angry reaction group!
We recognise there is plenty to be angry about, have every sympathy with those who want to 'attack' those they feel are responsible
However that will not be our style – believing that we can achieve the desired result more quickly by being part of the process.”

  • Points to be brought before the Ministerial Working Group which included

    • The absolute necessity that in both the forthcoming Scottish Guidance note and in the new RICS guidance notes on completion of EWS 1 forms there is complete clarity as to who is the 'responsible' party for compliance and instructing EWS1 assessements or other inspections. Also that, that party has the legal standing to comply with any such guidance

    • The difficulties now caused by the recent strict adherence by banks to the criteria that:-

      "Option B should be members of a relevant professional body that deals with fire safety in the built environment. This could be a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Fire Engineers or equivalent. " Source

The refusal of lenders to accept EWS1 B certification has, with regard to B certificates, had the effect of removing at least one of not more assessors in Scotland from those able to undertake this work.

  • The Role and Responsibilities of factors, and the reported failures to communicate to owners, known safety problems.

      • A requirement to disclose to government information already known to them about cladding/construction failure to assist government in establishing the quantum of the problem

  • Progess and methods to identify the developments 'in scope' for assessment

    • The anticipated update of the High Rise Inventory

    • The possibilities of the use of (suitable) government/local government staff in 'Boots on the Ground' inspections

    • The allowed uses of the £97.149m funding from Westminster and establishing its best use

        • Remediation?

        • Mitigation?

        • Financing survey/inspection by goverment/local governement staff (thus removing the PI issue)

        • Financing Owners Associations/Factors to facilitate inspections

  • We further discussed the position of share ownership properties

Media involvement

Interviews with BBC/STV/The Times

This is such a complex subject, and so easy for the media to get it wrong - which in some cases they did !


(Sorry about the picture!)

HRSAG The Nine hrsag (2).mp4

23 December

New Forum

Over the last few weeks work has been done on a new interactive forum to enable contributions and solutions.

Take a look - there may be a few quirks but the aim is to go live now. Forgive glitches - very grateful to the 'guinea pigs' who have hepled get this far.

The Forum has different groups which addressing different issues we face. There are some described by Tribe as 'public', and some (more) that are described as 'private' which anyone is particularly interested and wanting to contribute to the solutions of those specific issues, can ask to join.

The posts will be regularly reviewed and be reviewed by a team regularly with a view to action, investigation and follow up.

23 December
Recent news

Posted on the HRSAG Facebook page (whilst the new forum was being built.

Draft Regulations


for draft regulations due to be effective 1 April 2021?

Update on Ministerial Working Group on Mortgages & Cladding

o Difficulties arising from lack of PI cover and doubts over PI cover

o I have been able to supply a copy of a PI verification certificate for an assessor to the Minister's team, for their further review

o The UK Government appear to be engaging in at least some discussion about government assistance/resolution of this issue. If successful then this could help resolve the EWS1 per block /per individual flat issue, but see below regarding who may instruct in Scotland.

· Difficulties in Scotland as to who has authority to issue instructions for an EWS assessment or comprehensive inspection.

  • Members of the working group were unaware that quotations had been successfully obtained for inspections to be undertaken on a 'per block' basis, The examples I have provided to the Minister include an invitation to quote issued by a development's factors upon the direct instructions of the Owners Association committee, who drafted the terms of the instruction.
    The resultant EWS1 form for each block would be held in the name of the factor/ Owners Association on behalf of the Co-proprietors and Owners to whom the EWS woud be made freely available.
    This will be followed up b the Minister's team

· RICS in advanced stage of revising the form and advice regarding its use.

· British Government funding the design of a new qualification being drawn with RICS leading.

· The Fire Industry Association (FIA) has establish a portal where EWS forms may be downloaded by registered EWS1 signatories , who upon completion will upload them to the (searchable) portal. See

· When the Scottish Government's advice note is issued (now anticipated - but not guaranteed - for the first quarter of 2021) RICS will review the guidelines issued to their members regarding work undertaken in Scotland. That Advice Note would also trigger a further review with regard to EWS!1 documentation, usage and implementation in Scotland.

· The identification and specification of the Responsible Person. Party for giving instructions still need to be defined

Quite a heavy read but worth it

Xu, Lu, Managing and Maintaining Flatted Buildings: Some Anglo-Scottish Comparisons (2010). Edinburgh Law Review, Vol. 14, pp. 236-258, 2010, Available at SSRN:

Whilst this paper may be 10 years old. it is very informative and helpful

Sets out not only the differences between English and Scotttish law but also the differences between Developmennt Management Schemes and Tenement Management Schemes

Comments and suggestions prompted by this paper are invited and welcome as well as your experiences of these schemes

Also any updates and more recent law and developments

4 December
Information from MCHLG (Westminster Parliament) and RICS on EWS situation

"Government steps in to help homeowners caught up in 'EWS1' process"

Full article here:-

  • Agreement that buildings without cladding not subject to EWS1

  • Nearly 450,000 homeowners set to benefit

  • Government funding to train 2,000 more building assessors to speed up valuations

  • Government working with industry to ensure professional indemnity insurance is available for assessors

    The most significant points could be the training of building assessors

    "Further, the government has announced nearly £700,000 to train more assessors, speeding up the valuation process for homeowners in cases where an EWS1 form is required. This training will be delivered by RICS from January and will mean up to 200 additional assessors will be qualified to carry out the EWS1 assessment within a month, 900 within 3 months, and 2,000 within 6 months"

  • The RICS position is reported here

    Some key points:-

    • the government announcing £700,000 in funding to train ‘more assessors’.

    • This would help in turn to increase the speed of the ‘valuation process for homeowners in cases where an EWS1 form is required’, with the training to be launched in January 2021 and – according to the government – mean that ‘up to 200 additional assessors will be qualified to carry out the EWS1 assessment within a month, 900 within three months, and 2,000 within six months’.

    • The course will take up to eight weeks to complete, and is designed for chartered building and building control surveyors ‘who already have a base knowledge to undertake external wall system assessments for low to medium risk residential buildings’, in turn ‘increasing the number of professionals to support the current market demand’, though buildings 18m or over requiring specialist training ‘will still require a qualified fire safety engineer’.

    • The course aims to ensure professionals can ‘identify and interpret effective information required for inspections from stakeholders’, as well as undertake inspection processes in addition to ‘intrusive’ inspections. They will also be able to ‘assess an external wall system’ including materials, construction and fire safety performance; understand fire risks presented by these; and define the scope of work ‘effectively through contracts and terms of engagement when taking instructions’.


Certainly 'no quick fix'

Even if 2000 extra assessors are recruited and qualified that will be fairly pointless unless the provision of Professional Indemnity Insurance for those assessors is put in place.

Whilst the government says it " is also exploring ways to address ongoing concerns around the availability of professional indemnity insurance" unless, and until, this is resolved then we may be no further forward.

It should be noted that whilst some of these steps may be beneficial to owners in Scotland, this is predominantly applicable with in England.

The Scottish Minister's working group is due to be updated next week on progress in Scotland.

None of this deals with the costs of the inspection(s) nor remediation of any problems revealed by such inspections.

12 November Lenders' views as reported by one of our members

Advised by a factor to an owner:-

"Nationwide and Halifax, (they) have advised, as members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the following for a ‘B2’ rating:

For Scotland, confirmation will be required from the building factors/managing agents acting for the co-proprietors about the remedial building work required and who will be liable for the costs of the works.

Confirmation is required in writing on headed paper, covering:

· EWS1 requirements will be complied with and the building rendered fire safe (i.e. fall within the definition of A1, A2 or B1) on completion of the remedial works. - Quotes reviewed by EWS1 Fire Assessor.

· The interim fire safety measures are satisfactory. - Not required as stated on {contracors] report.

· A summary of the remedial works required and will take place within a reasonable timescale (circa 12 months). - Confirmed when works contractor appointed.

· Cost of works and source of funds (i.e. Common Fund). - No requirement for additional owner contribution beyond monthly fees.

· Append inspection report


There is a media request for information on 'waking watches' in Scotland.

Please email urgently to if you have any experience yourself or know of anyone who waking watches on their developments

20 October
Urgent responses needed by THIS SUNDAY 25 October 2020. Draft Scottish Advice Note – External Wall Systems

I attended a webinar yesterday (Tuesday)relating to this DRAFT Advice note

The links are here.

Would welcome your urgent response to the questions to get a feel of people’s views

So here are the questions

Scottish Advice Note: Determining the Fire Risk Posed by External Wall Systems in Existing Multi-Storey Residential Buildings

Respondent Information Form


Please provide comments to set out the reason for your answer where possible.

1. Overall, do you find the advice helpful in understanding the guidance, legislation and processes as they apply to buildings in Scotland?




2. Does the advice clearly explain the risk of external fire spread in both low rise and higher rise buildings?




3. Does the advice clearly explain the risk of Metal Composite Material (MCM) cladding?




4. Does the advice clearly explain the risk posed by Category 3 Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) with an unmodified polyethylene filler, and what actions building owners should take if their buildings have these systems?




5. Is the guidance on non-ACM cladding (including High Pressure Laminate) panels helpful?




6. Is the guidance on partial cladding helpful?




7. Does the guidance clearly explain the difference between a fire safety risk assessment which considers external wall systems and one that requires an intrusive external wall appraisal?




8. Is the guidance clear on when a fire safety risk assessment may need to be informed by an intrusive external wall appraisal?




9. Is there any guidance that is missing or needs to be improved to provide greater clarity?




10. Are there any other relevant comments you would like to make?


and if you could respond by sending to by Thursday night that would be helpful

BUT please also respond to the Government !

(8) LinkedIn (1).pdf
(8) LinkedIn (1).pdf

13 October
Discussions today with a surveyor member of the Ministerial Working Group

and interview with the Times Newspaper.

4 October
Minister shares his thoughts on a Support Fund
and our contribution at Ministerial Working Group

A letter from the Minister to one of our members gives an insight to the current position.

30 September Private Meeting with the Housing Minister

Since this was a private meeting lasting nearly an hour, the report will of necessity (like yesterday's) be brief

The Working Group found that our contribution was helpful and unique in that we have an overview of the situation which is not and cannot be available to the group's members.

Accordingly I shall be attending future meetings for at least part of them.

In order to be play our part it is important that HRSAG is up to date with developments, and examples of issues, whether safety, or lending related.


I am convinced of the determination of the Minister and government to resolve this, but realistic in the assessment that a complete solution will take a considerable time

29 September

Brief report from attendance at Ministerial Working Group on Mortgage Lending and Cladding 29 September

Significant engagement with the Minister and members of the working group, and fulsome support and agreement from members confirming our analysis of the problem and the key issues needing to be addressed. Encouraged by the determination shown by those participating to work

· to resolve the safety questions

· to unlock the mortgagabilty issues

· to address the costs issue

Follow up meeting with Minister tomorrow pm

I made the point that the only people being asked to pay for resolving the problem are the people who didn’t contribute to the problem. Which cannot be right.

Our future involvement in the working group, and/or sub groups to be discussed

There was clear confirmation that it is not possible by way of Statutory Instrument to change the Factors ability to instruct investigations

16 September

Looking for people willing to share their story about how EWS system and High Rise problems have affected them
Anyone in Aberdeen? but not only Aberdeen



16 September

Invitation just received from Minister to a private meeting. Accepted!
Chat with Scottish TV this pm

2 September

Next Session of the Holyrood Local Government and Communities this Friday 4th September 10 am
Live TV

HRSAG and our involvement in the forthcoming working group meeting are referred by the Minister in his written submission where he says " Working Group ... we are to meet again in late September, with updates from the sub-group Chairs on timetables and priorities to be with Government earlier in the month. As part of that discussion we expect to hear evidence from the High Rise (Scotland) Action Group"


21 August A sign of hope maybe where remediation is required ?

Grateful for this from one our members today

Could be good news where remediation is required.

We all need to press our MSPs to pursue this.

Kevin Stewart Housing Minister in a letter dated 4 August to an MSP

“I can confirm that consequential funding did come to Scotland as a result of the £1 billion fund announced for England in the budget statement of March this year. However, spending decisions are a matter for Scottish Ministers and, as you may be aware, we are currently in the process of agreeing the spending decisions for the forthcoming year. Irrespective of the outcome of these ongoing budget agreements, the Scottish Government will continue to consider how it can best support homeowners affected by this issue.”

When specifically raising this with my local MSP on Tuesday he did not give any confirmation – or otherwise

Neither was this confirmed in discussion yesterday with a Scottish Government team leader.

20 August Meeting with Mortgages and Cladding team leader at Scottish Government

Invitation to attend give evidence to the Working Team's next meeting - September = A real plus.

Clear that COVID impacted hugely with team members being allocated to different roles, but now be re- engaged on the Mortgage EWS1 issues.
Also clear that if lenders insist on surveys for all buildings where they deem there is a Risk, there are simply not enough individuals with the appropriate experience and qualification to undertake that in any sensible time frame.
Clarity being sought from lenders as to their organisations current 'underwriting' practice on loan applications.

Unacceptable that lending being decline over wooden balconies. or even metal balconies with wooden slat floors which could inexpensively be replace with fire retardant properties.

Discussion on alteration of restrictions on Factors to initiate inspections without instructions form Owners.

Such changes would, if agreed, probably take a minimum of months.

Possibility of an assessment ('Son' of EWS designed for Scotland)

More to follow!

6 August Another constructive conversation with RICS today

Grateful to John Baguley of RICS (who was one of the main architects of the EWS1 form)

He has agreed to do a 3- 5m minute interview/podcast to clarify some issues surrounding the intention, purpose and implementation of that form.

He also confirmed that the form is in course of being reviewed

4 August

Phone call received today, vigorously asserting that several flats with EWS1 forms in the names of individual owners had actually been sold.
This could be good news.
However that has not been the experience of anyone contacting HRSAG as yet. That could be because those people have no problem.
If you anyone can confirm that such sale have been completed with an EWS1 form please let us know ASAP at

2 August

Moved website to Google Sites

17 July

Some of my understanding from my conversation of this morning.

Very positive attitude from UK Finance wishing to speak with us on a regular basis, as we work with others to untangle this situation, bring clarity to those concerned for their safety, and a way ahead to unlock the impasse that many are experiencing in buying and selling their homes

I have a meeting with UK Finance representing banks in the UK this morning.

Should be another interesting and helpful conversation

13 July


I have a meeting with UK Finance representing banks in the UK this morning.

Should be another interesting and helpful conversation

13 July

Some clarification from RICS regarding EWS 1 certificates,

"The rules do not say one per block, in fact the opposite, that said due to the basis of homeownership and not having a single entity responsible for fire safety, individual owners are being forced to request the EWS.

The EWS process is designed to be per block but if all homeowners per block moved as one, to have a single EWS that all could use, and from which to plan remediation works (if needed), that would be a solution which is not reliant on legislative changes."

10 July

Invitation to quote for an EWS1 Survey from Factors acting on instructions of Owners Association

Example of recent invitation for a quotation - feel free to adapt!

Owners Associations / Owners may need to take the initiative in INSTRUCTING their factors to take this action

We act as Factors for.pdf

8 July

Posted 8 Jul 2020

Annual/Extraordinary General Meetings of Owners Associations during 'lockdown'

Does anyone have ANY experience of how to hold such meetings. Lots of ideas - but most seem to run into legal difficulties

Has anyone actually had one?

Urgent responses would be helpful!

7 July

North Edinburgh News today

Meeting being arranged at the instigation of, and with, Scottish Government's More Homes Division: Housing Markets:

Mortgages & Cladding

6 July

Press release issued at least one story advised of by lunchtime

2 July

Meeting with RICS today. Grateful for the time given by John Baguley, who took time to explain the background to the EWS1 form.

Grateful too for his promise to keep us in the process as they review the form. It was designed upon the basis that the survey/investigation process was on a block or stair basis, and that any resulting certificate was for that stair.

If forms are completed for a single flat/apartment owner then this may be a reason for lenders to decline to lend on that property

Interesting points from over an hour long meeting. Much to review as to how to proceed to the best and timely resolution of what seems an intractable problem

1 July

Interesting flowchart of EWS 1 procedures from 'InsideHousing'.

30 June

Excellent, constructive meeting with Nicola Barclay - Chief Executive of Homes For Scotland and Chris Ashurst and Lisa Murray from HRSAG. We can achieve more together than we can apart.

29 June

EWS1 Forms are being required for new builds!

Where is the professional capacity for the checking required?

This will not help kick start the home property market!

Conversely anyone buying a new home would at least have a starting point, and at the time of renewal of an EWS1 after 5 years there is a point of reference

A view of the EWS1 form and procedures

"insurers do not consider that the required route to complete the form is satisfactory, or that those completing it are doing enough detailed investigation to understand whether the building that is being assessed has combustible material on the outside"

Evidence from Association of British Insurers to Holyrood Local Government and Communities Committee

United Nations Special Rapporteur investigates Human Rights breaches arising from cladding issues.

The allegations made are detailed, The Report is to be found here and could be very salutary.

Come on! - This needs to be sorted, not in due course, but now.

We are happy to play a constructive part in the resolution.

26 June

The Minister has written to us confirming that he has asked his officials to consider how best to engage with homeowners and to have our views heard by the members of the Working Group. And said

“My officials will contact you later in the summer to discuss this matter further”

We have responded to the Minister

"Dear Minister

I am grateful for your response, and we look forward to engaging in this process.

I would be grateful however to receive an explanation as to why you have expressed the view that " it is not appropriate that the High Rise Scotland Action Group join the Working Group as members"

Surely there could be nothing more appropriate than the Owners/Residents being members, in order to contribute to the resolution of this dreadful problem?"

The Minister has written to us confirming that he has asked his officials to consider how best to engage with homeowners and to have our views heard by the members of the Working Group. And said

“My officials will contact you later in the summer to discuss this matter further”

24 Jun 2020

MOT for buildings?

An idea that gained some initial support - Hope it shows we are trying to help solve the problems!

"Some positive ideas have come out of this evidence, one of which was for what we might call a building MOT. Would that be a good idea? I do not know how easy it would be to carry out such an MOT on existing buildings, but we could do it for any new building from here on in." - Committee member

"That is probably the type of idea that we will discuss in the private session" - Convenor


The Official Report of last Friday's Holyrood committee meeting is now available on the Parliament’s website and can be accessed by following this link:

Now following up with various participants from the panels

Suggestions and comments welcome - by email, please to

Submission to committee now online

22 June

The Video of Friday's meeting is now posted online.

Some of the more salient points will be posted as short clips later

Lots more to follow - but not today.

19 June

So this was a Good news Bad news day

Good - I think

Committee and others generally accepted that we should be part /members of the group at Parliament seeking to resolve this issue

The possibility of Government maintained, publicly held certificate for High Risk/Rise buildings renewable every 5 years (like an MOT) gained some interest.

Discussion of government funds being made available to enable factors/owners to have an assessment undertaken of their building

Bad - I think

The Insurers have no confidence in the EWS1 certification process, or its criteria, and were not involved in its conception or implementation.

The EWS form does not give enough confidence to insurers to enable them to assess that the risks are reasonable

There is no appetite and basically no interest in providing insurance related to High Risk Buildings of whatever height.

Lots more to follow - but not today.

18 Jun 2020

Submission to committee now online


16 Jun 2020

Written submission in for the Holyrood Local Government and Communities

Committee session on Friday.

It will be live on

14 Jun 2020

Grenfell - Three years on

Today we remember with sadness the 72 people who perished as a result of the Grenfell disaster

We also stand with those who are suffering and grieving.

The suffering and grief, sadly, spread and continues to affect those living in high rise flats, and indeed other dwellings. Depression, worry, anxiety, suicidal thoughts are an ongoing legacy.

We resolve to work with all to remove this blight on the lives of many thousands.

12 June

This video from our English sister organisations show the dreadful mental impact on so many real people living in affected properties


12 June

Our friends at UK Cladding Action Group have prepared this report, and the statistics are shocking.

If you live in Scotland and have been similarly affected contact us confidentially through our web page

It would be helpful to receive any feed back before we give evidence at Holyrood next Friday

10 June

Posted 10 Jun 2020

We now have a Glasgow co-ordinator

Welcome to Lisa Murray based in The Verde Building

We are currently compiling a directory of Owners Associations and contact details

Posted 10 Jun 2020

Invited to give evidence to the Holyrood 'Local Government and Communities Committee' next Friday.

If you have points that you think should be included in evidence please email

Delighted in rapid response from this Committee and the support being given


5 June
Map showing the local authorities which according to a "desktop" survey have residential building over 18 metres

5 June

5 June

Letters now sent to members of Local Government and Communities Committee, copying them in on yesterday's letter to the Housing Minister, and requesting that we are included in their deliberations.

4 June

Letter sent today (4 June) to the Scottish Housing minister asking for homeowners to be included in the working group he has established , alongside the representatives of mortgage lenders, surveyors, insurers, property managers, solicitors, house builders and the fire service

At present it does not include any homeowners, for whom he says the system has to work. Looking for a positive response!p 3