LAUNCH: New regulations and ombudsman covering new homes sales

New ombudsman is designed, among other aims, to prevent agents or developers employing 'pressure sales' tactics when selling new homes.

ombudusman new homes

Estate agents have a new regulator to deal with following the official launch of the new homes sector’s New Code of Practice for builders and an independent Ombudsman for consumers.

While house builders will be required to treat their customers better under the new scheme, those selling properties on their behalf will also come under the regulations, as The Neg reported in February.

The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB), which was one of the final initiatives overseen by no ex-housing minister Eddie Hughes and is being provided by TDS, will oversee the new Code that puts consumers at the heart of the new build process.

Over 100 developers are now registered and are working with the NHQB to ready themselves to follow the first builders to go live at the earliest opportunity. The scheme will initially cover England, Wales and Scotland, and ultimately the whole of the UK and those that are signed up to the scheme already will display the NHQB and Ombudsman branding.

The Government has committed to oversee the introduction of a statutory Ombudsman, and through the Building Safety Act, now has the powers to do so.

leon livermoreLeon Livermore, Chief Executive of the New Homes Quality Board (pictured) says: “Buying a new build home is a massive moment in many people’s lives and it ought to be a happy and memorable experience. The vast majority of those buying new build homes are satisfied with their purchase and their builder but in too many instances in the past that has not been the case.

“This new framework aims to drive up standards of construction and customer service and puts the buyers’ interest at its centre.”

The New Homes Ombudsman, Alison MacDougall, says: “The New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS) will have a strong role to play in ensuring that consumer complaints about the experience of buying a new home are dealt with independently and effectively.

“We aim to contribute to the promotion of best practice within the sector, and to identify issues arising from complaints which may merit further consideration across the industry.”

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