What is the New Homes Quality Board?
The New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS) has introduced guidelines from the consultation from the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) for all new-build developers to sign up to.
This is the biggest shake-up that has ever occurred in the new-build construction industry and is excellent news for new homeowners. Until now, there has been little guidance for what a customer should do when they are unhappy about the quality of their house.
We are often asked by customers what they can do when they have issues the builders are not responding to, and other than raising a dispute with the warranty company (such as the NHBC), a lot of customers resort to going to the press.
The New Homes Ombudsman will meditate disputes up to the value of £50,000 (which should cover the majority of cases) and it will span the length of the first 2 years after completion. Crucially, the Ombudsman will hold statutory powers over the builders.
There will be a new code of practice for the builders to follow that will be broad, but the main one that affects our industry of snagging houses will be the allowance for us to go in pre-completion.
Typically until now, most builders try to deter or simply refuse customers getting us around to do a snagging inspection until after completion. As part of the new build ombudsman, this will change with a requirement for them to allow a professional around to inspect the property pre-completion. The timescale for this inspection will expect to be 1 week prior to collecting the keys, which is a suitable timeframe to address the majority of issues found.
There is the question of what a 'professional' means, but we anticipate this being a qualified surveyor or builder that is a part of professional bodies such as RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) or the CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building). The issue otherwise is that inexperienced people will flood the market offering snagging surveys when they are not qualified or experienced in doing so.
There will likely be a basic snagging survey format introduced which will allow the homeowner to get a qualified person to check the fundamentals of the property. This will give them the reassurance that their property is of good quality or of course give them the knowledge before they complete over shortfalls. This is in the similar way in which a homeowner for an older home could choose between a RICS condition survey 1, 2 or 3 (1 being the basic condition survey vs 3 being the most in-depth Home Survey)
When shortfalls are found, the builder will be required to rectify before completion. This is of course excellent news for homeowners and holds the builders accountable.
The exact timeframe this yet to be determined however we anticipate for the official guidelines will be released by the end of the year and for there to be a period of transition for developers abide by the regulations.
What it means for HomeSnag
This is excellent news for our company's future as we are the only snagging company in the UK that is Regulated by RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors). This will put us in prime position for being the best snagging company to offer either a basic standard of snagging checks or a full snagging survey and package options we currently offer.
For more information please see: https://www.nhqb.org.uk/
A Snaggers Blog
HomeSnag inspectors are experts at inspecting new-build houses. This blog shares real examples to demonstrate the importance of getting your new build house or apartment snagged professionally
"I always insist that there is specific provision for snagging," says Thomas Moran, partner at law firm Speechly Bircham. "Reputable developers do this anyway, but there are all sorts in the market, some big, some small, so you need a contractual promise than within, say, a year they will come back to remedy any minor defects in the finishing."
read full article here