APPG Inquiry into New Build Quality - 2015

A recent government inquiry has been looking at ways to improve construction quality and customer service in the new build industry. 

 

In an effort to better promote the interests of buyers of new build homes, Wingrove Law gave evidence and made submissions to the inquiry that we hope will positively influence government understanding and policymaking in relation to common issues facing new build homebuyers, and to promote better regulation of the industry.

 

APPG EVIDENCE SESSION 2015

 

Wingrove Law was invited to make submissions to the All Party Parliamentary Group ("APPG") inquiry at the Houses of Parliament on 23 November 2015, on the following aspects of the buying process:

  • Ensuring better quality workmanship;
  • Improving the new home owner experience and customer service particularly in relation to resolving defects post-completion.

 

FOCUS OF OUR SUBMISSIONS

 

Homebuyers do not generally seek legal advice because of the existence of defects.  They seek advice when builders unreasonably fail or refuse to put those defects right.  This is unacceptably common.

 

One important reason this happens is that builders have excessive power over buyers.  An important source of this power is their standard plot sale contracts, the terms of which are frequently designed to make it unduly difficult for buyers to enforce the terms and get defects resolved.

 

Wingrove Law submitted to the inquiry that builders should be required to use a prescribed form of plot sale contract designed to rebalance the rights and obligations of the parties in the homebuyer's favour and give homebuyers adequate rights of redress.  The aim would be to make builders more accountable for achieving a suitable construction quality.

 

We also made submissions regarding the requirement for builders to provide all purchasers of new build homes with copies of relevant plans, specifications and technical information so that buyers can properly determine whether the builder has complied with the relevant contractual standard to which they should build the new home.  Presently, most purchasers are deprived of this information, making it very difficult for buyers to work out if they have received what they paid for.  This information would also enable buyers who find defects work out what the appropriate remedial works should be.

 

Many of the panel members involved in the government inquiry were interested in our ideas and saw their potential.  Our recommendations featured prominently in the report published by the inquiry in July 2016.  A copy of the report can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

APPG report "New Homes, Fewer Complaints"
More Homes, Fewer Complaints - APPG repo[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [4.4 MB]

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