Legal: Problems with a New Build

Get a free consultation
Health Assured Logo

Health Assured team

16 February 2024

The construction of new build homes must meet building standards but unfortunately, the average new build home can often have some problems. A buyer may experience problems with fixtures and fittings, cosmetic defects or the property simply not being ready on time.

The most common problems in a newly built property may be:

  • Poorly fitted windows and kitchens
  • Poorly fitted loft insulation
  • Brickwork pointing
  • Cracks in walls
  • Unfinished or poor plastering and décor
  • Faulty pipes and drainage

To identify any of the above, it is always recommended to have a ‘snagging survey’ completed before the move. The survey can identify any issues by a professional and any problems found can be rectified before a buyer moves into their new home. It is recommended that these issues are raised before moving in so the home builder/developer can rectify or repair the issues in the home and as well as to avoid any blame on the buyer if there is a claim.

How to report problems with a new build

New build properties come with a 10-year warranty, which is made up of the developer’s warranty and the insurance-backed warranty.

  • Developers warranty – runs from 0 - 2 years. This covers structural issues and minor defects during the first two years of living in the newly built home. Problems with the newly built home must be reported to the builder in the first instance.
  • Insurance-backed warranty – runs from 3 - 10 years. This covers structural new build issues. (Does not cover cosmetic issues or minor defects) Problems with the build must be reported to the warranty provider.
  • Year 11 onwards – rely on your own home insurance policy


Complain about your new build problems

If your home builder does not respond or resolve the issue reported in the first two years of living in your new home, then the complaint can be escalated in the following way:

  • Suggest mediation to try to resolve the issue informally.
  • Report the problem to the NHBC (or the warranty provider for your property) through their complaint procedure.
  • Contact the consumer code for homebuilders where the developers can be ordered to carry out remedial work or offer compensation. How does the Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme work? - Consumer Code
  • If the complaint has still not been resolved, then lodge a complaint to the Ombudsman Service for a final decision of either remedial work or compensation. NHOS - The New Homes Ombudsman Service
  • If you are still unsatisfied with the outcome, then as a last resort you can consider taking the legal route and issue a New Homes Claim.

The buyer must be given a reliable and realistic time frame of when the new build will be completed. Still, if for some reason the property is not ready on time and there is an unreasonable delay, the buyer has the right to not go ahead with the purchase and is entitled to a full refund of the reservation fee. It is important for the buyer to be aware and check the terms in the contract beforehand.

Make your enquiry

Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch to answer your enquiry

Book a place on this workshop

Get a free consultation

Please complete the form and we'll be in touch to schedule your free consultation

An error occurred

We appologise but an error has occurred submitting your form. Please try again.