Watchdog to ensure high standards for newly built homes

A new watchdog organisation has been formed to protect consumers by ensuring that developers deliver high-quality homes.

The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) is an independent body set up to introduce a new industry code of practice for builders and create the New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS) to support homeowners in disputes with builders.

The New Homes Conduct code will place increased demands on builders to support homeowners from the point of sale through to two years after purchase.

Developers will need to have a complaints procedure in place, including specified timelines for responding to queries from buyers.

The NHOS will be funded by the housebuilding industry through an annual registration fee. House builders will have to be signed up to the ombudsman service if they wish to be involved in the new Help to Buy programme starting in April.

It will have powers to ban “rogue developers” and to order repairs for poor building work.

Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said: “It’s crucial developers show more responsibility for the quality of their work while also acknowledging when things go wrong – this helps give vital confidence to buyers, especially at a time of general uncertainty.”

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