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Homebuyers who are faced with shoddy building work in their new homes will be protected by a new, independent Ombudsman, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed.
The New Homes Ombudsman will step in to help homebuyers with issues from sloppy brick work to faulty wiring and will have statutory powers to award compensation, ban rogue developers from building, and order developers to fix poor building work.
Where people are in dispute with developers, the new Ombudsman will act swiftly and independently to resolve any issues ending the injustice of people facing long waits and costly court cases trying to sort out problems with their new homes.
New laws will also require all developers to belong to the Ombudsman, giving all homebuyers access to swift redress.
As part of the government’s wider work to raise the standard of homes across the country, new measures have also been confirmed that make sure all homes sold under the future Help to Buy scheme meet higher standards and ensure developers put quality first.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “It’s completely unacceptable that so many people struggle to get answers when they find issues with their dream new home.
“That’s why the Ombudsman will stop rogue developers getting away with shoddy building work and raise the game of “housebuilders across the sector.
“Homebuyers will be able to access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster and people can get the compensation they deserve.”
Currently, homebuyers who purchase new builds have no independent way of challenging developers’ service or poor workmanship. Today’s news will give people buying a new home the confidence they need that when they get the keys to their home, they are getting the quality they expect.
New Homes Ombudsman
Legislation will require developers to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman, underpinning a code of practice for developers and enforcement of requirements.
The New Homes Ombudsman will provide a clear route for purchasers of new build homes to complain when things have gone wrong and provide effective redress through alternative dispute resolution, avoiding the need to go to court.
It will be free for the consumer and independent of industry.
The legislation will for the first time provide consumers with the right to access redress for their new build home as developers will be required to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman.
Other parts of the housing market already have mandatory redress requirements set out in legislation – e.g. social housing, and property, lettings and estate agents. A new code of practice will have higher standards that developers need to meet in their services for sales, marketing and build.
Where disputes cannot be resolved early, we will ensure the New Homes Ombudsman has the ability to act, so that new build issues are dealt with swiftly and effectively. These include:
Today’s Ombudsman announcement comes after a 3-month long consultation held last year. The consultation covered a wide variety of issues including:
View the full consultation.
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