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Problems with your new build home?

By sfb solicitors, Apr 5 2018 01:46PM

Have you recently bought a new build and noticed that there are defects? If the answer is yes, then we can help you claim compensation and damages in relation to the repair costs and losses you have suffered.

Statistics show that more half of the buyers of new homes have experienced major problems with their properties, according to research, which comes after Bovis Homes agreed to pay £7m compensation to customers for poorly built houses.

If your home is less than 10 years old – even if you are not the first owner – it is almost certainly covered by a warranty.

If you are the first owner of a new build property, your builder and/or conveyancer should have confirmed if your home has NHBC Buildmark cover. You would have received a policy document and insurance document.

It doesn’t matter if you are not the first owner of the home. It is the home that is covered for 10 years. Cover is passed on to the new owner when the home is sold.

You may have another policy. Other policies include, BLP, LABC, Premier Guarantee and Checkmate.

Generally, housebuilders/developers are responsible for putting right any defect caused by their failure to build in accordance to the standards as set out by their warranty and insurance provider.

However, the guidelines can be subjective. Which is where it can become challenging. You might consider something to be a fault, but the house builder/developer may argue it is not.

Most of the time, it is about negotiating. You may not get everything you want, so you will have to decide what you are happy with.

We will guide you through the steps you should take:

1. A letter to the builder/developer to set out your complaint.


2. In the event that the builder/developer fails to respond to your complaint then we will escalate your complaint to the NHBC or your warranty provider.

3. If we don’t receive any satisfaction from your warranty provider, we may pursue your complaint internally with NHBC or your warranty provider.


4. We may make a claim about the warranty provider to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


5. Mediation may be an option to consider before legal action is taken.


6. If medication is not successful, then we may contact an organisation called the Consumer Code for Homebuilders or the Consumer Code for New Homes (depending on your warranty provider). The body has a Dispute Resolution Scheme and we will to refer your complaint to Dispute Resolution Scheme procedure.


We will complete the require application on your behalf and send it to the independent Dispute Resolution Scheme with your statement of evidence (application fee will be applicable and payable by you).

The Adjudicator will ask the builder/developer to respond to your statement. At this stage the builder/developer may resolve the complaint without formal adjudication - this is called ‘early settlement’.

If early settlement does not happen, the builder/developer must submit their response to your statement.


The Adjudicator will review submissions from both parties and decide whether or not you have a legitimate dispute and have suffered financial loss and/or emotional distress and / or inconvenience and if so how much loss / emotional distress / inconvenience because the builder/developer was in breach of the requirements of the Code.


The Adjudicator will make a decision and send it to both parties. The decision may be a performance award (where the builder/developer has to do something) or a financial award (where the builder/developer has to pay you money) or a combination of the two.


7. If the matter has not resolved, then we will consider taking a legal route.

Why Summerfield Browne?

Summerfield Browne Solicitors will aim to reach a final settlement, that will give you and your family, the compensation you need and deserve. Our team of specialist lawyers will robustly negotiate on your behalf, and endeavour to obtain the best settlement for you as soon as possible.

We have offices in London, Birmingham, Cambridge, Oxford, Market Harborough and Leicester.

Call us on 0800 567 7595



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