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THE NEW HOMES QUALITY BOARD

The primary purpose of the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) is to enhance the quality of the product provided to consumers and to strengthen their protection in the event they are not satisfied with the quality of their new home or the performance of their developer.


The NHQB aims to provide consumers with the information they require about service standards they should expect from their developer.

The New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS) is a separate independent organisation that will provide independent redress for consumers with issues.

The NHOS will be free to use for consumers and paid for by a levy on the industry.


NEW HOMES QUALITY CODE

The New Homes Quality Code introduces a range of requirements for developers to enhance current protections. It starts when a customer walks into a sales office, and continues for two years after legal completion.

The final version of the code was published in late 2021; the latest step in a five-year journey to develop a new industry code of practice to improve the existing consumer codes.

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CODE KEY POINTS

  • Protects vulnerable customers, prohibits high pressure selling; requires deposits to be protected

  • Requires developers to provide relevant information about the home during the sales process; including tenure and future management/service charges, allowing customers to make informed decisions about their purchase

  • Sets out requirements for a fair reservation agreement, including a ‘cooling off’ period, and sales contract requirements

  • The new Code requires developers to have a comprehensive after sales service to deal with any issues customers have with their new home in a timely manner and the option to refer their complaint to the New Homes Ombudsman

  • Allows customers to have a professional carry out a pre-completion inspection of their home

  • Specifies a home must be ‘complete’, preventing developers paying customers to move into a new home early

  • The Code will apply to all private customers buying their new home for owner occupation from the date their Developer is activated under the new arrangements

  • Find the full version of the Quality Code at the NHQB website.