Consumer Code for New Homes
The Code establishes requirements that will apply to all developers and builders, registered with Global Home Warranties Ltd. It is there to ensure best practice is followed in the marketing, selling and purchasing of new homes throughout the UK and sets out expected standards that all developers and builders must incorporate for after sales customer care service.
What is the Code?
The Consumer Code for New Homes was developed to be of maximum benefit to consumers and its ultimate aim is to provide a genuine commitment to consumers to improving standards of construction and customer service in the New Homes market, recognising that part of that commitment is providing consumers with a voice when things simply don’t go according to plan when they buy a New Home.
The Code provides a clear consumer complaints process supported by an independent Dispute Resolution Scheme for consumer complaints that arise and are made in writing to the Developer within two years of the date of the Completion of the New Home purchase. This is run independently by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. (CEDR)
The Code also benefits second and subsequent Buyers of the New Home but only in respect of after sales matters reported within two years of the date of the Completion of the New Home purchase.
Nothing contained within this Code affects a Buyer’s existing legal rights and does not replace any existing legislation regarding the sale and marketing of New Homes to consumers.
Where a Developer (or their Agent) is found to be in serious breach of the Code, the Code Sponsor can apply a range of sanctions, including removal from the Code’s register of members. This will also result in removal from the registers maintained by the Warranty Bodies who support the Code.
What does the Code cover?
The Code covers the New Home buying process to ensure that the selling activities the Developer
engages in are of a consistently high standard. This includes
- Pre-Purchase Stage: ensuring high standards of customer service, fair and clear documentation,
adequate information provision.
- Contract Exchange Stage: governing the Contract of Sale, requiring minimum standards for fair
and transparent contracts, accurate information about when the property will be available and
- Handover and After Sales: providing minimum standards for handover and after sales processes,
ensuring consumers’ health & safety and ensuring they have suitable information for maintaining
and living in your property.
- Complaints & Disputes: giving consumers access to clear, speedy and low cost dispute resolution if
things don’t go according to plan.
Purpose of the Code
Purchasing a New Home is a significant expense for most consumers and there are many different factors which purchasers consider including location, design and suitability as well as price and reputation of the Developer.
The Consumer Code for New Homes aims to ensure that consumers are protected from undesirable trading practices during the New Home purchase process and so sets standards for all Registered Developer Members about some of the other considerations of buying a New Home (which many New Home purchasers perhaps take for granted such as quality of build, fairness of the sales process and handover of the property) so that they are consistent and of the highest standards to ensure the whole process is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
The Code provides a mark of real quality to our registered Developer Members, to give consumers the peace of mind that, when you are buying a New Home:
- you will be treated fairly by the Developer and their Agents
- you can have confidence about the Developer’s legal and professional status as a company
- you will be given clear and reliable information about the New Home and the purchase process
- you will know what standards of construction & service level to expect from the Developer
- you can access speedy, low-cost Dispute Resolution if you are not satisfied with the sales process
- you will understand what you have to do to maintain your New Home and address any problems that may arise
- if you are in a vulnerable position, this is readily identified and you are given suitable support to help assist you in making decisions.