New Homes Quality Board launches new code for home builders
In a previous blog, I discussed that the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB), an independent body designed to promote new build quality and to strengthen the protection available for buyers, would launch a new code to replace the Consumer Code for Home builders; this new code was published in December 2021.
So what do we have here?
* Increased obligations upon developers, particularly in relation to after-sales care; complaints procedures will remain active for two years after legal completion, a cooling-off period will apply and matters are to be referred to the ombudsman if complaints are not resolved. The New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS) provides a supplemental and broader framework for dispute resolution.
* From January 2022, house builders and developers who build new homes are expected to register with NHQB and undergo training for dealing with complaints; developers would be well-advised to update their own internal procedures and protocols whilst this is all happening.
* The cut-off point to sign up to the new code is 31 December 2022 and failure to do so will attract issues with selling the properties.
* Registration will basically become compulsory as a condition for warranty providers and a requirement by lenders.
* The code is a working-progress (as the board can pass resolutions) and can be updated at any point depending on new issues that may arise as the waters are tested.
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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to clients of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.