What is the code and what does it cover?
The Consumer Code for Home Builders was introduced by the home building industry to help make the buying process a lot clearer and fairer for those buying a new build property.
The code ensures all buyers are treated fairly, are well-informed throughout the whole process of purchasing the property, know their customer rights and are aware of the levels of service on offer.
When it comes to sorting out a mortgage, this means the consumer will have a greater choice as they can choose any mortgage advisor they wish; which is great news in terms of finding a mortgage that is right for them and their needs at that particular moment in time.
The requirements of the code include:
- Adopting the code
- Information pre-contract
- Information exchange of contract
- Information during occupation (after-sales service)
- Complaints and disputes
Who is it for?The Consumer Code is for anyone who reserves a new, or newly converted home build by a Home Builder under the insurance protection of one of the supporting Home Warranty Bodies, on or after 1st April 2010.
The code is not applicable for:
- Second-hand properties (e.g. properties taken in part exchange or re-sold)
- Properties acquired by registered social landlords for rent
- Properties build by self-builders
- Buying more than one property on the same development for investment purposes
How is the code enforced?All registered builders of the Home Warranty Bodies have agreed to adhere to all aspects of the code. If someone is found to be breaching the code, there are a variety of sanctions that will be carried out.
What's the latest with the code?There has recently been a third review into the code whereby one of the recommendations make was to set up an Ombudsman, which will be coming into effect from 1st April 2017.
In relation to the mortgage advisor section, additional wording of the code now includes,
"The good practice guidance has been amended to make it clear that builders may offer incentives and/or refer home buyers, for example, to a panel of solicitors, but should not restrict their choice of legal representative. In addition, this preclusion now includes not restricting the financial advisor or mortgage intermediary that they may wish to use."
To coincide with the revisions to the Code, the Consumer Code for Home Builder's website is being re-launched, making the information for both Home Buyers and Home Builders more readily accessible.
To read more about the Consumer Code for Home Builders, please visit the website here.