News - Construction News

New Homes Ombudsman set up by government

According to new legislation, builders and developers will now be required to register with the New Homes Ombudsman, a construction watchdog with a revitalised code of practice which protects homebuyers from substandard bricklaying and wiring.

Specifically, builders will be required by law to register with the New Homes Ombudsman meaning that they will be required to abide by the upgraded codes of practice and, should any work be carried out to s substandard level, will be ordered by the Ombudsman to rectify any shoddy building work.

The Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP stated: “It is completely unacceptable that so many people struggle to get answers when they find issues with their dream new home.

“That is why the Ombudsman will stop rogue developers getting away with shoddy building work and raise the game of housebuilders across the sector.

“Homebuyers will be able to access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster and people can get the compensation they deserve.”

The Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Brian Berry added: “This announcement is a step in the right direction for consumers and house builders alike. As the FMB had demanded, it is correct that the New Homes Ombudsman will be backed up by law.

“We are pleased that the Government has recognised that the new system must not be burdensome to small and medium-sized (SME) house builders. If we are to meet the Government’s target of building one million homes over the next five years, SME builders must be encouraged to play their part.

“The details of this sensible step are still to be worked out, and the SME building industry must be central in the process as the funding, standards, and delivery model are decided upon. Any new consumer code must also ensure that all new homes are covered by the highest-rated insurance companies.”

“While welcome, the drive towards ensuring quality for the consumer cannot be fully achieved without an industry-wide adoption of a licensing scheme.

“So long as any company is legally allowed to undertake construction work in the UK without having to demonstrate a minimum level of competence, homeowners will remain at risk from rogue builders and poor service, leading to the sorts of complaints that the New Homes Ombudsman has been established to address.”

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