Disclaimer: we are not in any way providing legal advice, everything has been written to the best of our knowledge and we are not responsible for the accuracy of this information. This blog is simply for informational and entertainment purposes.
As new build home buyers, you would assume that the advantage of buying a newly built house is that it has never been lived in before. Consequently, there should be no issues with it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Oftentimes, new build homeowners have experienced major problems with their new house after moving in.
This can be a huge disappointment when you have made such a large investment in your new home. In the best-case scenario, you should get your new build inspected by a snagger before you move in. However, if it’s a little too late for that, here is what I would advise. As new build home buyers, you deserve the quality in which you were sold. Some housebuilding companies will use sneaky tactics to sell you on a show house, so what happens when things go wrong, and you discover problems that may be costly to fix?
My advice for new build home buyers
If you discover defects after moving into your newly built house, you should report them to your builder as soon as possible. Usually, your builder is obliged to rectify any defects reported to them within the first two years. This includes any structural issues and any minor cosmetic problems such as shrinkage etc.
These are covered under the terms of the ten-year warranty which you should have received with your new home. It should also be covered in your homeowner’s pack which you should have received from your builder or warranty provider. This will explain what a defect is, otherwise known as a snag, therefore informing you on what your builder is liable to fix.
Most developers have a complaints procedure or customer care department that will deal with any issues that you have. This is your first port of call to ensure your defects are properly logged. I would always advise sending any snagging list to the customer care department first and not the site manager. It’s not uncommon that snagging lists get misplaced as well, so ensure you keep multiple copies of your defects.
What if my builder won’t rectify the defects?
In some instances, homebuyers can find themselves in a situation where they cannot agree on the works necessary to rectify your defects with the building company. Other times a builder might simply refuse to do them. It may be possible to refer them to your warranty provider to intervene using their free dispute resolution service. You can also use this service if your building company is dissolved or no longer exists when you find a defect.
Regardless of your warranty, your builder will only deal with issues caused to your house because of the failure to build your new house to the warranty provider’s requirements. Such as structural, drainage, roof etc. It does not cover cosmetic issues such as decoration. It is therefore important that you fully understand what is and is not covered under your warranty. Some defects aren’t the builder’s responsibility.
Because of the level of cover provided under your warranty, it may not always be possible to seek solutions for the problems you have. If that fails, you could also refer your complaint to the Consumer Code for Home Builders Adjudication Scheme. Dealing with defects in a newly built home can sometimes be difficult and extremely stressful. Especially if your builder is unresponsive or your warranty provider is unable or unwilling to help. If you’ve exhausted all your options, it may be that your only course of action is to seek legal advice.
To avoid any snags or defects down the line, hire a professional snagger to inspect your property before you move in. By employing a professional, such as myself, to survey your home you can gain peace of mind as well as expert knowledge. I have over 40 years of experience in the housebuilding industry. Meaning I can confidently guide you through the snagging process and help get the defects rectified.
Below are some useful links: