THE NEW HOMES QUALITY CODE
VALID ON ALL RESERVATIONS MADE FROM 6TH JUNE 2023
(EXCLUDING PEAL ESTATES (THURSTON PARK)
THE NEW HOMES QUALITY BOARD (NHQB), INTRODUCED IN 2022, IS AN INDEPENDENT, NOT-FOR-PROFIT BODY, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEVELOPING A NEW FRAMEWORK TO OVERSEE REFORMS IN THE BUILD QUALITY OF NEW HOMES AND THE CUSTOMER SERVICE PROVIDED BY DEVELOPERS.
The NHQB provides enhanced protection to buyers of new homes in the form of a new code of practice to ensure that every aspect of a new home purchase is covered, from when a customer initially walks into a sales office, through to two years after the occupation of the home.
The protections also include access to the independent new homes ombudsman service (NHOS) if you are not satisfied with the quality of your new home or the performance of your developer.
THE NEW HOMES QUALITY CODE: STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
- Fairness: treat customers fairly throughout the buying and after-sales process.
- Safety: carry out and complete work in line with all regulations and requirements that apply to the new home, as set out by the Government, and have the necessary certificates from an appropriately approved body to show they have done this.
- Quality: complete all work to a high standard in line with all building and other standards and regulations that apply, as well as to the specification for the new home, and make sure that completion does not take place until the new home is complete (see section 2 of this code).
- Service: have in place systems, processes and staff training to meet the customer service requirements of the code, and not use high-pressure selling techniques to influence a customer’s decision to buy a new home.
- Responsiveness: have in place a reliable after-sales service and effective complaints procedure to make sure responses to customer queries are clear, thorough and provided in good time.
- Transparency: provide clear and accurate information about buying the new home, including tenure and any costs the customer may have to pay in the future, such as ground rents and service charges.
- Independence: make sure that customers know they should appoint independent legal advisers when buying a new home and that they have the right to ask for an independent pre-completion inspection before completion takes place.
- Inclusivity: take steps to identify and provide appropriate support to vulnerable customers and make sure the code is available to all customers, including in appropriate formats and languages.
- Security: make sure there are reasonable financial arrangements in place, through insurance or otherwise, to meet all their obligations under the code, including repaying deposits when they are due and any financial awards made by the New Homes Ombudsman Service.
- Compliance: meet the requirements of the code and the New Homes Ombudsman Service.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR NEW HOME
Marketing of new homes
- Sales and marketing material and details of any part exchange scheme must be clear, fair, legally compliant, and confirm whether your developer is registered with the New Homes Quality Board
- Sales and marketing literature needs to consider the needs of vulnerable customers
- When describing a new home, developers must provide clear information about the home, including (but not limited to) the size and layout of rooms, tenure (whether freehold or leasehold), specification (what is included over and above the structure of the building), any associated management or service charges, and the expected completion date
The purchase process
- Reservation Agreements must be clear, fair, and compliant with all relevant legislation.
- The terms of the Reservation should clarify details of the sale including (but not limited to); the purchase price & reservation fee, that the sale is ‘subject to contract’, the 14-day cooling-off period, your right to terminate the agreement, how long the reservation period lasts, details of the new home (including the tenure), details of the new home warranty, and any other fees or costs that may be incurred.
- Developers must inform customers of any change that alters the size, appearance, or value of the new home, and their right to cancel if they disagree with the change.
- Customers will have the opportunity to visit the completed new home before moving in, for a demonstration of fixtures and fittings, or to appoint a suitably qualified inspector to undertake a pre-completion inspection on their behalf.
- Developers must inform customers of any known future work on the development and likely timescales.
- Developers must have in place adequate arrangements to protect contract deposits and other fees.
Living in a new home
- Developers must provide a comprehensive after-sales service for at least two years following legal completion and explain how this operates, including timescales for resolving issues, and who to contact (including out-of-hours emergencies).
- Developers must have a system for handling issues and complaints, including details of how customers can escalate complaints to the New Homes Ombudsman.
- Unless there is a substantial reason for a delay, any snags/defects identified in the new home should be resolved within 30 calendar days.
THE DENBURY HOMES CUSTOMER CHARTER
- Provide you with pre-reservation information, giving you an opportunity to share any additional needs you might have to understand the process of buying a new home.
- Complete a comprehensive reservation appointment with you, furnishing you with information to enable you to make an informed choice before committing to reserve.
- Provide you with a copy of the New Homes Quality Code, agreeing to adhere to its core requirements and principles.
- Provide you with documentation pertaining to the NHBC 10-Year Buildmark warranty, advising you of cover under the scheme.
- Furnish you with comprehensive information about your new home and the development, together with when any choices and options available to you, subject to build stage.
- Provide you with the development’s marketing information including the build specification.
- Share with you relevant costs to maintain your home for the next 10 years, together with fees while you live in your home, and if you sell it.
- At mutually agreed intervals, provide build updates and likely completion dates of your new home.
- Share with you our Health & Safety Policy on site to minimise the risk of injury while we are building the development.
- Utilising a suitably qualified inspector, offer you the opportunity to appoint a Pre-Completion Inspection of your new home, from 5 calendar days after the Notice to Complete has been served (or earlier by mutual agreement).
- Conduct a home inspection to introduce you to your new home, including the features and functions of the property.
- Give you access to a post completion, after-sales service (including out of hours) that will handle enquiries, issues and complaints. We will endeavour to resolve warranty issues within one calendar month.
- Facilitate independent satisfaction surveys via the HBF and NHBC so you can share feedback on your home buying journey.