A new report has suggested that people buying new build homes should be able to hold back 5% of the purchase price until they are satisfied that the house builder has fixed any problems or defects with the property.
The Social Market Foundation think tank believes that new rules are needed to protect buyers increasingly unhappy with the quality of their new homes and builders who prioritise profit over customers. The report states that some builders have a culture of neglecting customers’ interests and calls on the Government to do more to boost consumer power.
The report highlights that there is a similar 5% scheme in operation in the Netherlands and many buyers in the UK would benefit from its introduction. It is currently difficult for buyers to access redress for problems with new homes and they are not well informed about what their warranty does and doesn’t cover. The report also calls for the introduction of a detailed information pack for prospective new home buyers so they can make a more informed choice and suggests that it should include measures on performance of each builder such as satisfaction, defect data and warranty claim numbers. There should also be clear information on what the warranty covers. Crucially it suggests that house builders should be obliged to provide compensation if repairs are delayed as this would encourage house builders to take more immediate action if there are issues with new homes.
The report can be accessed at http://www.smf.co.uk/our-work/publications/. It makes interesting reading for those who have bought or are considering buying a new build property.