Welcome to After Build’s New Homes Ombudsman web page. You can find all of the information you’ll need to know here. We’ll help you navigate through legislative and industry changes which could effect you.

After Build are meeting regularly with industry colleagues and experts. Together we’re committed to making the New Homes Ombudsman a success. We know that these changes will have an impact on our clients and we want to help.

You can read the most up to date press release from After Build in our News Feed here. Meanwhile, you can also keep up with us on LinkedIN for more information.

What we know so far:

The introduction of a New Homes Ombudsman has been committed to by the government and although these things are always subject to changes, we believe it’s on its way. Within the next parliamentary session (about a year) we expect to see a roll out of a voluntary scheme. This will encourage developers to sign up to a set of principles before legalities are bought into play.

Following as lengthy consultation, the first results seem to indicate that the scheme will be mandatory for developers and they they will be paying for it. We also understand that the ombudsman will have powers similar to those in other sectors.

HOW WE CAN HELP YOU RIGHT NOW

The Ombudsman’s objective will be to improve build quality and customer service – and provide the Home Buyer with powers of redress. This is a summary of events to date:

  • The Barker Report (2004) strongly hinted at the concept
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government conducted lengthy industry consultation in 2019
  • Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary confirmed plans in February 2020 to appoint a New Homes Ombudsman
  • It is hoped that this will be within the current parliamentary session – if not suspect early in the next session
  • Interim Quality Board announced in May – chaired by Natalie Elphicke MP
  • Ultimately the appointment of the Ombudsman will enshrine code of practice in legislation
  • Will be responsible for composition of a permanent board
  • Seek to consult on and complete a new code of practice
  • Intention to encourage industry to respond on a voluntary basis initially
  • Will focus on construction/build quality, inspection, sale and after care
  • In particular will provide the consumer with powers of redress when a complaint is unresolved

WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR BUSINESS WILL NEED TO CONFORM?

  • The focus is on Build Quality, Service and After Care
  • The NHO will always want the Home Builder to resolve a complaint
  • But they will become involved when this doesn’t happen
  • They will require all Home Builders to be members of the scheme (mandatory)
  • In the worst of cases they will be able to expel a member
  • They are looking to award consumers up to £50,000 compensation

… the time to make any changes in your business is NOW!

THESE ARE THE COMPONENTS YOU REALLY SHOULD REVIEW

  1. Build Agreement – Important steps to avoid difficulties later
  2. Information – What is required and how to present it
  3. Resource – Training and competence
  4. Build Quality – Avoid snags and optimise the Home Buyer’s experience
  5. Home Buyer – Set realistic expectations
  6. After Care – Manage warranty obligations and achieve NHO compliance
  7. Estate Management – It doesn’t have to stop with After Care
  8. Complaints – Handling and Escalation
  9. Compensation – Policy
  10. White Label – Outsourced service branded in your name

We can assist you with all of this – or you can involve us in just the areas that are of particular concern.

TELL ME MORE

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After Build are continuing to provide their service through the COVID-19 crisis. Our team are working remotely to diagnose and attend to defects, keeping customers informed and keeping contractors safe. You can find more information on our COVID-19 tab. 

We know that developers are being effected and we want to be able to help. If you need urgent assistance with after care or site services, we can help. 

In the meantime, we encourage all clients, contractors and homeowners to stay safe.