Competition Watchdog to Examine Warranties For New Homes

CMA’s review of NHBC comes amid concerns over lack of protection for homebuyers.

builder holding clip board

The Competition and Markets Authority is examining payments between housebuilders and the providers of warranties for new homes as part of a review of NHBC, the largest warranty provider.

The CMA announced last month it was reviewing undertakings made by NHBC, the standard-setting body for new-build properties in the UK and the main warranty provider. These 22-year-old undertakings were designed to improve competition in the warranty market.

The review was announced amid concerns that NHBC is compromising its independence by paying millions of pounds to developers every year. However, the CMA said it was launching the review following a request from NHBC and that it would not consider the “wider issues” relating to the organisation.

Nonetheless, the CMA has sent a substantial list of questions about warranties to leading figures in the sector as part of its review. The questions, which have been seen by the Guardian, include asking warranty providers whether they have loyalty or low-claim schemes that compensate builders with a low claim rate and how these payments are calculated.

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Basements – What can go wrong?

Whether you’re considering a new build or conversion, make sure your project is a success with Andy Butchers’ expert tips on troubleshooting common problems.

Basement warranty

Basements can be elegant solutions for many projects, whether self builds or renovations. They offer an opportunity to add significant value and living accommodation – including incorporating luxury features such as secret swimming pools, saunas, games rooms, gyms, home cinemas and more.

And with some houses, especially where space is limited and the cost of buying a bigger property on the open market is prohibitive, converting an existing cellar or extending downwards can be a clever, cost-effective option.

Before you start

This kind of project must be carefully planned and executed if you’re to enjoy a successful result. If something does go wrong, there’s not only the stress and disruption of remedial works to deal with – but also the fact that problems below ground can be difficult and expensive to resolve. What should you consider before pressing ahead?

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The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders obtains full CTSi Approval

Following Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) Stage One approval of the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders, the Build-Zone New Home Warranty has now received full CTSi approval.

CTSi

The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders is a mandatory Code which has been established to ensure that consumers are protected from undesirable trading practices during the New Home purchase process, and that best practice is followed by Builders/ Developers (and their respective Agents) who are registered with Build-Zone in respect of the marketing, sale and purchase of New Homes, and also provides expected standards for after sales customer care and service including the rectification of snagging items.

Build-Zone’s Code provides a clear process for consumer complaints which are made in writing to the Developer within two years of the date of the Completion of the New Home purchase.

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New Build Warranty – Don’t be apart of the New Build Home Nightmare

Buyers’ complaints soar as properties riddled with faults are increasingly sold by builders cutting corners to meet 200,000-a-year target.

Nearly 300 families a week are being forced to move into shoddy newly-built homes that have not been finished as builders cut corners to meet targets, it has been claimed. Buyers are picking up keys to new homes to find leaks, mould, water-logged gardens, missing windows, badly fitted doors, broken toilets and gaps in the guttering.

In some cases, new-build buyers are discovering more than 170 faults in their homes and having to wait months for a builder to fix them. Some 93 per cent of buyers report problems to their builders, according to a report by the all-party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment.

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Plans for Kensington Palace Mega-extension are Revealed

As revealed by Sebastian Shakespeare in Saturday’s Daily Mail, the proposed enormous two-storey underground extension will be dug next to the 18th century Orangery to ‘free up the palace suites for the Royal Family’.

Kensington Palace mega-extension

The local council, Kensington and Chelsea, has restricted residential two-storey basements because of the disruption they create but officials will probably ‘make an exception’ for the royal development, documents show.

The 165ft-long mega-basement will make room at the palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to move full-time with their children this autumn after William ends his two-year pilot’s job with East Anglian Air Ambulance and takes on full-time royal duties.

The grade I-listed Orangery – described in the plans as an ‘elaborate greenhouse in the style of an elegant palace’ – was built in 1704 on the orders of Queen Anne who wanted to protect her citrus trees in winter. It is currently used as a restaurant for visitors to the palace grounds.

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