New Homes Ombudsman

by Property 118

17:46 PM, 24th February 2020
About a month ago

New Homes Ombudsman

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New Homes Ombudsman

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:

  • the ability to make awards for compensation to the homebuyer
  • requesting developers to undertake or refrain from undertaking work
  • directing developers to improve their service
  • publishing details and reasons for expulsion of a developer
  • ability to make recommendations to resolve disputes and timescales for rectifying disputes
  • requesting apologies and explanations from developers

Today’s Ombudsman announcement comes after a 3-month long consultation held last year. The consultation covered a wide variety of issues including:

  • legislation to require developers to belong to the New Homes Ombudsman
  • the design and delivery of the New Homes Ombudsman
  • a Code of Practice for developers building and selling new homes
  • enforcement of requirements

View the full consultation.



Comments

Paul Shears

19:06 PM, 24th February 2020
About a month ago

So now it's been agreed that the best way to deal with yet another problem is to fill out a form and pass it on to someone else in this case using recycled tax money to drive the process, (Original and successful thinking there), exactly what evidence will be provided to show previous relevant first hand sound judgement in the income stream beneficiaries?

terry sullivan

11:39 AM, 26th February 2020
About a month ago

another bloody quango--does boris know he leads conservative party--or is he a conman

David Lawrenson

9:13 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

I could not agree more with the previous comments.

So, the Housing Minister talks about "swift action". Oh really.

My wife has an issue outstanding with the Pensions Ombudsman. After about 18 months going through her company processes, made all the more slow by the totally clueless Willis Towers Watson, (who look after the first stage process and admin of her pension scheme for the bank she used to work for), she finally made it through to the Pensions Ombudsman.

They have had the file for over 6 months now and have still, as far as we are aware, (yes we keep chasing), done absolutely nothing at all yet. As far as we can see they have not even opened the file.

So, "swift action" on housing disputes? I will believe that when I see it.

This is just another example of the government making some news by looking like they are "doing something" whilst actually doing nothing at all, because they have failed to resource the thing appropriately - something we are very much used to in the realm of the private rented sector where laws and regs come thick and fast, but there is little actual enforcement.

Those of you who followed Mark Alexander's long fight with the West Brom will know that the regulator/ ombudsman for that case said West Brom had done nothing wrong. After a huge fight through the High Court and Appeal Court, Mark and the other borrowers were finally vindicated.

So, the decisions of these regulators and ombudsmen are often wrong. It is my view that their staff are just not up to the job of more complex cases, such as Mark and my wife's pension dispute, so I fully expect we may have to go to court to get satisfaction - a monumental cost, which we will probably be unable to afford.

David Lawrenson
http://www.LettingFocus.com
Advice for Landlords and the Private Rented Sector

David Lawrenson

11:07 AM, 28th February 2020
About a month ago

For Mark Alexander....

Re my last post, I note it was reported in the FT Adviser that you had rightly suggested FOS re-open their complaint files on the West Brom case.

Did anything come of that? (I feel they should be responsible for their actions/ inaction).

Kind regards
David Lawrenson

BB

9:59 AM, 3rd March 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Another Ombudsman to deal with complaints within the Housing/Real Estate business. That should work then. How many is that now 3? Four or 5? Can't recall, but two years ago one threw in the towel.
The whole complaints process takes so long often 8-10 months, and once there is an award, the figures are so insignificant and derisory, it's a waste of time. Most complaintants, as did I, end up declining the offers and going through the Court process. Which much more likely to bring success and better rewards.
The current Property Ombudsman Services (TPOS) are as popular as Corvid19 on a submarine - judging by the reviews on 'Trustpilot'. Regarded as "corrupt and biased" by most. There has been widespread condemnation from MPs, various Governmental Working Committees and blatant failures documented in the media.

terry sullivan

11:02 AM, 3rd March 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 28/02/2020 - 11:07
noone in public sector is culpable?

BB

12:39 PM, 3rd March 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 03/03/2020 - 11:02When fellow constituents made complaints to our local MP regarding the poor experience they had suffered with TPOS, and that they had tried to gain the attention of MCHLG and others in Westminster. Said MP wrote several times to the Secretary of State for Housing, during 2 administrations. Finally the now departed Esther McVey replied to her fellow member - to say that her office does not get involved.

David Lawrenson

13:14 PM, 3rd March 2020
About 4 weeks ago

As long as they show they are "busy doing something". few will know the reality of the outcomes, so the Minister just waffles a bit and ignores the problem. Staffing these things properly needs money, and they don't wish to spend.

BB

13:33 PM, 3rd March 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 03/03/2020 - 13:14Smoke and mirrors David. A total illusion, all to convince the gullible Public that their interests and investments are protected, and there is an unbiased body there to ensure that.
The very fact is that unbiased body is pay rolled by the same parties they are supposed to investigate and adjudicate over.b
When, as was the case not too long ago there were FOUR "Ombudsman" all competing for their share of " Membership fees" to sustain their very existence - it does beggar belief. As you could flirt between those 4 Ombudsman touting which one had the best/worst performances, to suit your needs.
What a pile of pooh.


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