The market for new construction properties has increased significantly in recent years. Many of these are purchased off-plan, allowing the customer to personalise the property to their specifications, and are frequently built on luxury well-kept estates. However, there may be problems with these new buildings in which the developer prioritises profit over quality, leaving the buyer with a less-than-desirable property. So, what rights do you have as a new build home owner?
What Is the New Home Builder Consumer Code?
The Consumer Code for New Home Builders is an industry-led initiative that provides builders with a code of conduct. The goal of this code is to make the purchasing process more equitable and clear for buyers. It went into effect in April 2010 and applies to all registered home builders with the UK’s major home builders warranty providers (NHBC, Premier Guarantee and LABC Warranty).
New Build Warranties
One of the primary benefits of purchasing a new-build home is the sense of security that comes with the warranty. Most new-build homes come with a 10-year warranty against structural defects, as well as a developer’s warranty, usually for two years, on fixtures and fittings.
Before you exchange contracts, your reservation agreement should include the following information:
- The name and contact information for the company that provides the insurance-backed home warranty that is included in the transaction.
- A summary of the insurance protection provided by the insurance-backed home warranty.
You must also obtain information about the developer’s warranty. There should be clear instructions on what is covered and how to file a claim if necessary.
New Build Home not Ready on Time
For some, a new build property must be completed on time. The buyer may be in a chain, and the new construction must be completed by a certain date. If it is not, then whether or not damages can be obtained for failure to complete on time will be determined by the contract’s terms. If a build must be completed on time, you must include this in the contract to avoid further complications.
If there is an unreasonable delay in the completion of the home, you have the right to cancel the purchase and receive a full refund of your reservation fee. However, keep in mind that builders frequently provide estimated timelines in contracts, which are often overly optimistic, which can lead to two issues. The first is that you arrive on time but discover numerous snagging issues (such as wonky light switches or incomplete sealant), and the second is that you are unable to arrive on time.
Issues with Fixtures and Fittings
When you move into a new build home, you may not notice any issues with the fixtures and fittings right away. However, repairing issues with tiling, flooring, light switches, and built-in cupboards can add up quickly. If you discover any issues, you must contact your builder to have them resolved. Previously, checks had to be legally performed at specific points during the construction process, but these regulations have been relaxed.
Low energy bills are another major selling point for new-build homes, with many builders claiming that new homes can save you up to 50% on energy bills when compared to old properties. Your building developer should have performed an energy efficiency assessment on your home before you moved in. If your home feels cold in the winter or your heating bills are higher than anticipated, contact your builder and request a re-assessment.
Our teams at Home Snagging UK are fully equipped with a thermal imaging camera, which we offer as part of the inspection or as an optional extra. We can use the camera to inspect your doors, windows, and heating system for cold air ingress and thermal bridging.
About Home Snagging UK
Our experts at Home Snagging have a keen eye and pay attention to the smallest details, which means they frequently pick up on snags that your property developer may have overlooked. Our reports ensure that your new build home is built exactly as promised, thanks to our defect prevention training and consistent finish guidelines. We are a snagging company you can rely on, with over 20 years of experience. Fill out our online enquiry form or call us at 01302 961111 to speak with one of our experts today. Follow us on Instagram for all of our new home warranty and snagging advice!