Consumer code

About the New Homes Quality code

The New Homes Quality Code introduces a broad range of additional requirements for developers to fill the gaps in current protections and ensure that every aspect of a new home purchase, from when a customer walks into a sales office, through to two years after occupation of the home is covered.

The final version of the code was agreed following the full public consultation we undertook on the Code in early Summer 2021, to which hundreds of responses were received from a broad range of stakeholders. The consultation was just the latest key step in what has been a five-year journey to develop a new industry code of practice that fills the gaps and improves upon the existing consumer codes in order to  provide better protections for new build home purchasers.

The new Code:

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Protects vulnerable customers, prohibits high pressure selling; requires any deposits the customer pays to their builder to be protected

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Requires the developers to provide all relevant information about the home during the sales process – including its tenure and any future management or service charges – allowing customers to make an informed decision about their purchase

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Sets out requirements for a fair reservation agreement, including a ‘cooling off’ period; and sales contract requirements

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Allows customers to have a professional carry out a pre-completion inspection of their home on their behalf

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Specifies that a home must be ‘complete’, preventing developers paying customers to move into a new home early

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Crucially, addressing the biggest gap in existing arrangements, the new Code requires developers to have a comprehensive after sales service to deal with any issues customers have with their new home in a timely manner; with the option to refer their complaint to an independent New Homes Ombudsman Service.

 

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The Code will apply to all private customers buying their new home for owner occupation from the date their Developer is activated under the new arrangements.

The Code is accompanied by a separate Glossary of Terms and more detailed Guidance for Developers and has been published in English and Welsh initially with more languages to follow during 2022.