New Homes Ombudsman Service Publishes Consumer Code


A new consumer code for housebuilders, which will be policed by an industry-led housing ombudsman, has been published.

Last month, Advantage wrote about the New Homes Ombudsman service, which will come online in 2022. And this week, Inside Housing reported that the NHQB (a not-for-profit organisation set up to ensure developers deliver good-quality homes and that homeowners have greater consumer protections) has published its new code of practice for the housebuilding industry.

Setting out a list of protections for house buyers and owners

construction site, bricksThey stated: The New Homes Quality Code, created by the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) which formed earlier this year, sets out a list of protections for people buying and owning a home, including proper aftercare and a “robust” complaints process.

The board said it aims to “fill the gaps” in current protections and ensure that every aspect of a new-home purchase is covered.

A step change for housebuilding

meetingNatalie Elphicke, chair of the NHQB, said the “powerful” new code is a “central plank” in the work to drive the quality of new-build homes up and strengthen redress for consumers.

“Over the coming months, we will work closely with industry to support and help them make the transition to the new arrangements.

“I firmly believe that, while challenging to implement, the new regime will deliver a step change that the industry will ultimately recognise brings huge benefits for both their customers and them,” she said.

For further details of the protections provided under the new code, take a look at Advantage’s overview, which we wrote in the summer.

How big will the impact be on housebuilders?

constructionRob Bridgman, Tom Walsh and Thomas Kiernan at Gowling WLG have shared their views on the new code, stating:

“Many major housebuilders have already changed their policies and procedures to enhance their customer journey.

“However, the new code will require changes to standard form documents (for example reservation agreements and checklists, agreements for extras and contracts for sale) and to processes for building and selling new build properties.

“There is also a decision to be made about when to register and adopt the new code (and whether to do it on a region-by-region basis). We anticipate that as publicity about the new code increases that customers will expect their purchase to be dealt with by the new code (rather than the existing Consumer Code).”

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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