Legal Advice: Protection for buyers in the New Homes Quality Code

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Image: Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock

The New Homes Quality Code (the “Code”) champions the quality of new homes by strengthening the current protections that exist for buyers.

A range of additional requirements for developers are introduced by the Code to address gaps that are overlooked in the current protections. This ensures that every aspect of a new home purchase is covered.

What’s covered?

The Code offers protection in the following 4 areas:

1. Selling a New Home
2. Legal documents, Information, Inspection and Completion
3. After-sales, Complaints Management and The New Homes Ombudsman
4. Solvency, Legal and Jurisdiction

The registered developer of a new home must demonstrate transparency, provide accurate information about the home and take steps to include accessible formats of such information for vulnerable customers.

The obligations of a developer do not end at the point of sale. Instead, developers are required to provide an after-sales service and a complaints resolution process in line with the requirements of the Code.

How are buyers protected?

From January 2022, the Code requires housebuilders and developers who build new homes to register with the New Homes Quality Board and abide by the Code.

Following the registration process and training on the processes and procedures of the Code, they will become a Registered Developer.

The Registered Developer is required to adhere to the 10 fundamental principles that are set out in the Code throughout their transactions to protect the buyer, including fairness, quality, safety, and transparency.

Failure to meet the required standards or comply with a New Homes Ombudsman may result in removal of the register of Registered Developers.

Making a complaint

The Code contains a robust aftercare plan whereby customers can raise complaints and receive timely responses and updates regarding the same.

Complaints with unsatisfactory responses can be escalated to the New Homes Ombudsman for further investigation, and developers belonging to the Code must publish data on complaints.

Should you have any queries relating to the above or any other property-related issue, please get in touch with a member of the team at property@woodfines.co.uk or if you require a quote for the sale or purchase of a property, please visit our website woodfines.co.uk or get in touch with a member of the team on 0344 967 2505.

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