Ian Chappell Partner, Deputy Head of Real Estate
New requirement for developers and house builders to register with the New Homes Quality Board
On 17 December 2021, The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) published its New Homes Quality Code. The Code aims to improve the quality of new-build homes and strengthen protection for buyers, spanning from initial sales steps to two years following a purchase.
The Code is split into four components:
Selling a new home and the relevant information which must be shared during the sales process;
Legal documents, information, inspection and completion;
After-sales, complaints management and the New Homes Ombudsman; and
Solvency, Legal and Jurisdiction.
It is imperative for developers and builders to understand their obligations under this new Code and to take steps to ensure compliance.
The key points are noted below:
From the end of January 2022, developers and house builders are expected to register with the NHQB via the online portal. The final registration date is 31 December 2022;
Once registered the NHQB will provide support - including online staff training modules, brand guidelines, suggested template letter paragraphs to help meet the requirements of the complaints process and other tools;
Builders and developers are required to arrange an effective after-care service to address issues and ‘snagging items’, accompanied by a robust complaints service to deal with customer’s concerns in a ‘timely manner and to their satisfaction’;
Failing the above, buyers may complain to the New Homes Ombudsman service, who are responsible for enforcement of the new Code; and
The Code prohibits high-pressure selling techniques and requires contract deposits to be protected using the terms of the contract of sale.
Additionally, the NHQB has published a Developer Guidance and a Glossary of Terms to assist with the interpretation of the new Code. The Code, the online portal for registration, the Developer Guidance and the Glossary of Terms can be accessed here.
If you have any questions or require any advice surrounding the contents of the new Code, please do not hesitate to get in touch with AdrianBingham@incegd.com, IanChappell@incegd.com, RachelStanley@incegd.com or your usual contact at Ince.
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