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New build watchdog launched ahead of industry ombudsman

  • 26/05/2020
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New build watchdog launched ahead of industry ombudsman
The interim New Homes Quality Board has launched in the first step towards the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman scheme.


Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke is interim chair of the independent body, which will have responsibility for the quality of new build homes and consumer redress.

The interim board has now met for the first time with an agenda to appoint a permanent board, create an industry code of practice and agree a process to appoint a New Homes Ombudsman service.

Representatives of consumer bodies, housebuilders, warranty providers, lenders and independents are on the board, including Jackie Bennett from UK Finance, Paul Smee of the Conveyancing Association and Douglas Cochrane head of housing development, Lloyds Banking Group.

It’s hoped a permanent chair and board will be in place by Autumn with a new code and ombudsman service launched by the start of 2021.

There is expected to be a transition period for builders to sign up to the new arrangements, with the government set to legislate to improve consumer redress as soon as possible.


Drive improvements

Housing minister Christopher Pincher MP said: “Building the homes we need is central to the mission of this government, which is why we have safely reopened the housing market.

“As construction resumes, I am determined to see the building of high-quality homes at the heart of this process.

“I welcome Natalie Elphicke MP’s appointment as interim chair of the New Homes Quality Board.

“The board’s broad wealth of experience will drive improvements in the sector, ensuring high-quality new homes and better protection for homebuyers.”

Douglas Cochrane, head of housing development, Lloyds Banking Group added: “We are already seeing positive feedback from the NHBC/Home Builders Federation and NHBC/Homes For Scotland customer satisfaction surveys which highlight that the quality of new homes is up to a high standard.

“The creation of the new board marks significant progress which will not only increase consistency across the industry, but ultimately give buyers even greater confidence.”


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