October saw the first developers registered with the New Homes Quality Board activating their membership and starting to market new build homes with the benefit of the New Homes Quality Code protection. Bellway Homes is the first developer to go "Code live" in Scotland as of 04 October.
Under the new Code the purchaser has:
- A mandatory 14 day cooling off period for a new reservation;
- Their deposit paid for a new house held by the builders in a separate protected account;
- Entitlement to additional presales information, including an estimate of future management or service charges;
- A right to have a pre-completion inspection by an accredited professional by way of an NHQC approved checklist before being obligated to complete the purchase;
- A right of access, free of charge, to a new complaints ombudsman scheme.
While the Code remains a voluntary scheme at this time, there are over 100 builders throughout England, Scotland and Wales registered with the new Board and currently going through the process to activate their registration. The Building Safety Act allows for the introduction of the Code as a statutory scheme, but to date that has not been seen as necessary.
Leon Livermore, Chief Executive of the New Homes Quality Board said,
“Whilst challenging, the new arrangements will provide all parties, in particular our customers with even more confidence in buying a new build home. Allied to the thousands of pounds buyers save on their energy bills, the protection of the robust new consumer code and access to an independent ombudsman make buying new a really attractive option.”
We are working with housebuilder clients to review and update missives. If you would like advice or more information relating to the code, please get in touch.