Desk

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT IS THE QUALITY CODE?

This is the New Homes Quality Code introduced in December 2021 by the New Homes Quality Board. This sets out the standards by which all new housebuilders must operate from 2022. See our section on the New Homes Ombudsman for further information.

WHAT IS THE BUILDER’S RECTIFICATION PERIOD?

This refers to a period of time following the legal completion of a new build residential property (previously known as the Builder’s Liability Period). The warranty provider (NHBC, Premier Guarantee etc.) requires the developer to be responsible for resolving any legitimate build defects during this time.

HOW LONG IS THE BUILDER’S RECTIFICATION PERIOD?

This is usually the first two years between the date of legal completion (when the purchaser completes on the sale) and the 2nd anniversary of this date. Depending on the warranty covering the property, this period may be less or more but two years is standard.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BUILDER’S RECTIFICATION PERIOD?

The easiest way to establish this is to check with the warranty provider or to look at the warranty certificate. It’s usually the property developer but it could also be the main contractor who worked on the build or in some cases a 3rd party. Ultimately whoever is named by the warranty provider is legally responsible for these obligations. Although individual commercial agreements may come into play.

WHAT IS A SNAG?

A snag is a legitimate issue with the finished property on the day it is sold to a purchaser. At this time nothing should be wrong but if anything is, this is called a snag. Snags can be identified by a purchaser on an initial snag list. The time allowed to identify snags differs depending on the developer.


Draft code published by the New Homes Quality Board in anticipation of the appointment of the New Homes Ombudsman, stipulates 30 days to resolve such issues. It is a good idea to implement such a process as it protects both parties.

WHAT IS A DEFECT?

A defect is a legitimate issue which arises during the builder’s liability period (post legal completion). These are defined by the warranty provider’s guidelines but essentially it’s a failure of any material, product or workmanship in the property.

DO I HAVE TO GIVE PURCHASERS A HOME DEMONSTRATION?

Draft code published by the New Homes Quality Board in anticipation of the appointment of the New Homes Ombudsman, stipulate that a developer must provide a purchaser demonstration.


A good purchaser or home demonstration should accomplish the following:

  • Positively introduce the property to the purchaser

  • Eliminate user error

  • Explain the after care procedures and manage expectations of future contact.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE OUT OF HOURS COVER?

It is a requirement of the warranty provider that defects are responded to in a reasonable timescale. If your purchaser is experiencing an emergency problem caused by a defect then it would be reasonable to respond to this the same night or weekend.

Draft code published by the New Homes Quality Board in anticipation of the appointment of the New Homes Ombudsman requires a developer to have an emergency service.

DO I HAVE TO DO A SNAG SURVEY?

Throughout the build of a plot there’ll be a number of different inspections, the last one being a ‘build snag’. This should be conducted by the build team or contractor and correct all remaining snags after which they will indicate that the plot is complete and ready for sale.


Draft code published by the New Homes Quality Board in anticipation of the appointment of the New Homes Ombudsman expects the developer to eradicate all snags (other than decorative) prior to legal completion.


Most customer dissatisfaction arises from issues which were not put right before sale. 

CAN I MANAGE MY DEFECTS USING SOFTWARE?

The short answer is NO. You can manage your defects using a combination of software and people. It’s not possible to use just software because somebody has to manage the process. You don’t have to have special software (although it helps) but you do need warranty trained resource who understand the requirements of new homes after care.