New Home Quality Board to Set New Standards for Housebuilders
This month has seen the launch of the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) – a new organisation designed to improve the quality of homes for buyers by placing more responsibility on developers.
Led by Natalie Elphicke MP, the board will introduce a new code of practice, known as the New Homes Code, requiring developers to share effective complaints procedures with their customers, comprising specified timelines within which issues will be addressed to the customer’s satisfaction, or be referred to the New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS).
The NHQB consists of permanently-appointed board members from various consumer bodies, warranty providers, housebuilders, the finance sector and independents, where “no one body is dominant.”
In Natalie Elphicke MP’s words, “The arrangements will lead to a step change in how new homes are built and sold and how customers are treated. The board is committed to driving new build quality and strengthening protections for buyers.”
So, what does this mean for the Consumer Code for Homebuilders and similar consumer protection schemes?
According to Today’s Conveyancer, ‘there will be a transition period during which developers will be required to sign up to the new arrangement and so be subject to the requirements of the New Homes Code and the jurisdiction of the NHOS.’
This suggests that, at least initially, the board will run parallel to the Consumer Code for Home Builders. Indeed, the Consumer Code’s website notes that there are no plans for the NHQB to replace the Code ‘until alternative arrangements are in place’ and they will ‘work hard to ensure that those already covered by the Code continue to receive the protection it affords them.’
The reality is, however, that the NHQB covers much of the same ground as the Consumer Code, with the added responsibility of build quality standards. The situation is complicated somewhat by the Consumer Code highlighting that many homebuyers are currently reliant on them for protection. While it does seem that NHQB will eventually become the industry standard-bearer, the Consumer Code is likely to stick around for the time being, as the intricacies of the transition are ironed out.
As we have with the Consumer Code, Classic Folios will help ensure you comply with any new customer service standards that are implemented by the NHQB.
If you have any questions or want to find out more, please contact us on 023 8062 6280 or at firstname.lastname@example.org