New homes ombudsman service moves one step closer as partner is announced

This week, the Independent reported that: “The development of a new body which will provide redress for buyers of new-build homes that are not up to scratch has moved a step closer.”

This followed the announcement by the New Homes Quality Board on Wednesday that the Dispute Service has been selected to be the New Homes Ombudsman, following a six-month tender process.

Delivering a ‘step change’ for the buyers of new-builds

retirement homesBack in February, Advantage wrote about the creation of the NHQB, which is intended to: “deliver a ‘step change’ for the buyers of new-builds.”

Housebuilder noted that the ombudsman is set to provide redress for purchasers of new build homes that are not up to scratch. The Dispute Service was chosen by the NHQB following a competitive tendering process and becomes the preferred partner to develop the service.

The ombudsman will enforce a new housebuilding industry code of practice – the New Homes Quality Code – which puts more responsibilities on builders for the service they must provide, particularly after a customer moves into a new home. The new code, which will be published next month, also sets high standards for the handling of complaints.

The homes ombudsman service will come online next year

Is renting the new buying when it comes to property?The service will come online in the new year. Buyers of new build homes who are unhappy with their new home or frustrated with the performance of the developer in handling their complaint will be able to ask the New Homes Ombudsman to review their case. The ombudsman will then rule whether there has been a breach of the code.

Natalie Elphicke, chair of the NHQB, was quoted by the Independent, stating:

Consumers rightly expect new homes to be top quality – and to get great customer service too. The ombudsman will be an independent customer guardian, making sure buyers get proper redress if they’ve been sold a shoddy home or suffer from poor customer service.

“A new home is the biggest purchase most of us will ever make and so it is right that we put the strongest protections in place to protect consumers buying a new home.”

Steve Harriott, chief executive of The Dispute Service, added:

“We are already working hard to get the New Homes Ombudsman Service up and running. We have significant experience of starting new services from scratch so I am confident that we will be ready to launch the scheme in early 2022 and to provide new home buyers with the access to redress that they have been asking for.

“We are determined to work closely with both the New Homes Quality Board and the housebuilding industry to make sure that they fully understand our role and that we can play a key part in helping to raise the standards in the industry”.

Do you require a structural warranty for your project? The Advantage team is proud to work with clients on developments throughout the UK to ensure that projects are covered by the appropriate structural warranty. To find out more, call: 0845 900 3969 or email: sales@ahci.co.uk

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