Why would you need help?
Well, if you let the developer make all the decisions on whether and how to put something right, their interests are served by doing the bare minimum. That could cost you dear later on.
If you want to make informed decisions and engage in meaningful negotiations with the developer with a view to getting a worthwhile improvement over what they might be offering you, particularly for major defects, it pays to understand what is wrong and what should reasonably be done about it. That means getting professional help from surveyors or other experts. This should be combined with legal advice - surveyors respond to instructions, they don't tell you what you need them to do. Instructing surveyors to investigate new build defects involves very specialist considerations. This is the lawyer's role. Just ordering a standard RICS Level 3 survey or similar is unlikely to get you what you need to negotiate effectively with your developer.
What about the new home warranty provider?
New build owners can usually refer disputes with the developer over whether something should be sorted to their new home warranty provider, who say yay or nay. That service is free to use. Isn't it?
Free to use, maybe, but warranty companies may not act in your best interests. They look to pass on liability to the developer and may look to agree the extent of that liability (meaning, whether to accept your claim or not) with the developer before 'tailoring' their response to your warranty claim accordingly. If they reject a legitimate claim, the Financial Ombudsman Service has no jurisdiction to consider your complaint about that so there is not much you can do about it. In other words, they can reject legitimate claims with relative impunity.
Even if they accept your claim, most times they just hand you back to the developer to sort it. The decision on how to fix it is once again left to the developer who, if you just made a claim, will by definition have already refused to put it right once. It is unlikely you will get a proper fix, which might not matter much for trivial or minor issues but for major defects it could be disastrous for you.
If the warranty company takes over the claim, they might procure works or cash settle your claim based on what they decide needs to be done. They will again be looking to pass that cost on to the developer, who could therefore influence the warranty provider to minimise or under-settle your claim. The warranty may be free to claim on but it could cost you dear in terms of defects still not getting put right properly or at all.
What Wingrove Law can do for you
If you have or suspect major design or construction defects in your new build home, especially 'functional' defects (i.e. heat loss, water ingress, structural failures, air leakage, noise transmission - things that affect your comfort and enjoyment of your home), it is vital you appoint the right surveyors or other experts to undertake appropriate investigations and prepare suitable reports so you can negotiate effectively with the developer or new home warranty company and achieve a timely and cost-effective outcome.
Wingrove Law will help you:
Please get in touch now for a free, no-obligation discussion to see how we can help you with your investigations and surveying needs.