New Homes Ombudsman: Industry Responses

New Homes Ombudsman: Industry Responses

Following Monday’s announcement by the Government on the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman, PBM has rounded up the industry responses.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said: “This announcement is a step in the right direction for consumers and house builders alike. As the FMB had demanded, it is correct that the New Homes Ombudsman will be backed up by law. We are pleased that the Government has recognised that the new system must not be burdensome to small and medium-sized (SME) house builders.

“If we are to meet the Government’s target of building one million homes over the next five years, SME builders must be encouraged to play their part. The details of this sensible step are still to be worked out, and the SME building industry must be central in the process as the funding, standards, and delivery model are decided upon. Any new consumer code must also ensure that all new homes are covered by the highest-rated insurance companies.”

Berry concluded: “While welcome, the drive towards ensuring quality for the consumer cannot be fully achieved without an industry-wide adoption of a licensing scheme. So long as any company is legally allowed to undertake construction work in the UK without having to demonstrate a minimum level of competence, homeowners will remain at risk from rogue builders and poor service, leading to the sorts of complaints that the New Homes Ombudsman has been established to address.”

Similarly, Jerald Solis, Director at Experience Invest reacted in a similar way, by commenting: “This is an important step in the right direction. New-builds are integral in addressing the housing crisis, yet a handful of developers have tainted how the public perceive new-build constructions. Rushed and poorly finished projects are hugely frustrating for homebuyers. And at the moment, any dispute needs to be settled in court which is both a long and expensive exercise. A New Homes Ombudsman will ensure the interests of those buying new-builds are legally protected and rogue developers are stamped out of the market. At the same time, it means new-builds are being constructed to the highest professional standard.”

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