Buying a New Build Home
Posted on 23rd April 2023 at 12:16
If you are buying or considering buying a new build home then you can benefit from increased protections in the event of any issues you have with your new home or disputes with your developer.
A recently introduced new code of practice puts significantly more requirements on builders in terms of how they treat their customers and deal with any complaints, whilst a new, totally independent Ombudsman service will provide redress for customers in the event of a dispute.
The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) will oversee the new Code that puts consumers at the heart of the new build process.
In the vast majority of cases homebuyers are well served by their developer and are happy with their purchase. But, given the nature of buying a new home, the impact on the homeowner if it goes wrong can be significant. Previous protections did not always go far enough so the NHQB has moved to improve this for customers.
More than 100 developers are now registered and are working with the NHQB to ready themselves to follow the first builders to go live at the earliest opportunity. The scheme will initially cover England, Wales and Scotland, and ultimately the whole of the UK and those that are signed up to the scheme already will display the NHQB and Ombudsman branding.
The new Code ensures that every aspect of a new home purchase, from initial visit to the sales office to the end of their two-year warranty is covered. It also requires developers to have an effective after care service in place, one of the biggest gaps in the current arrangements, to deal with any issues as well as a robust complaints process that responds to customers concerns in a timely manner and to their satisfaction.
The new code:
Protects customers, prohibits high pressure selling; requires any deposits the customer pays to their builder to be protected.
Requires the developers to provide all relevant information about the home during the sales process – including its tenure and any future management or service charges – allowing them to make an informed decision about their purchase.
Sets out requirements for a fair reservation agreement, including a ‘cooling off’ period; and sales contract requirements.
Allows customers to engage a professional to carry out a pre-completion inspection of their home on their behalf.
Specifies that a home must be ‘complete’, preventing developers paying customers to move into a new home early.
Replaces the large number of previous codes, hence simplifying and boosting consumer confidence.
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