On Tuesday the 4th of October the New Homes Quality Board and New Home Ombudsman Launched. This should be great news for new build homebuyers and should help them when they have a dispute with their builder.
Will the New Homes Quality Code help new build homebuyers?
This certainly looks like a step in the right direction to provide protection to new build homebuyers. However, I still have my reservations as the majority of developers have a culture that will need to drastically change for them to comply with the New Homes Quality Board requirements.
Time will tell, and I hope the New Homes Ombudsman has the strength to help homebuyers resolve their disputes. I feel the New Homes Ombudsman might be shocked by the number of complaints they are likely to receive from unhappy new build homebuyers, it will be interesting to see how quickly they deal with these complaints.
Below is an article published by Housebuilder news on the 4th of October:
New Homes Quality Code and Ombudsman launched
The New Homes Quality Board‘s code of practice and the independent New Homes Ombudsman have launched today (October 4).
Housebuilders including Bellway and Redrow have activated their registrations under the New Homes Quality Code which, as previously trailed, will place significantly more responsibility on builders regarding their treatment of customers and how they deal with complaints. The New Homes Ombudsman (NHOS), an independent body, will provide consumer redress if a dispute arises.
The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB), a non–profit body, is overseeing the new Code “that puts consumers at the heart of the new build process“. The Code covers every aspect of a new home purchase, from the initial sales office visit to the end of their two–year warranty. Under the Code, housebuilders must also have an effective aftercare service to address any issues. The NHQB said this was one of the “biggest gaps” in current customer care arrangements.
They will be required to have in place a robust complaints process, responding to customers in a timely fashion and to their satisfaction.
The new code also:
- Protects customers, prohibits high pressure selling and requires any deposits the customer pays to their builder to be protected.
- Requires developers to provide all relevant information about the home during the sales process – including its tenure and any future management or service charges – so consumers can 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 from paying customers to move into a new home early.
- Replaces the large number of previous codes, “boosting consumer confidence”.
The NHQB said more than 100 developers were registered with the code and were working with it to follow the first housebuilders in going live with their registrations “at the earliest opportunity”. Those signed up to the scheme will display the NHQB and ombudsman branding.
The scheme initially applies to England, Wales and Scotland but will ultimately cover the whole of the UK.
Stewart Baseley, HBF‘s executive chairman, said: “The requirements of the new code and framework are hugely challenging for businesses, but the industry is absolutely committed to implementing the proposals and the much greater protections they will provide for its customers.
“HBF initiated the early work that led to the formation of the independent New Homes Quality Board and continues to be supportive of its work.
“The new arrangements will deliver a step change in the approach by industry and lead to even higher quality new homes and better customer service.
“Whilst challenging, the new arrangements will provide all parties, in particular our customers, with even more confidence in buying a new build home.”
Read this article on the website here.
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