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New Homes Quality Code – Best Practice for Snagging Issues

New development house under construction

Under the New Homes Quality Code (“the Code”), developers registered with the New Homes Quality Board are expected where possible to resolve snags and defects in homes before completion or within agreed timescales under an after-sales service which is to be available to buyers for 2 years after completion.

The New Homes Quality Board (NHQB) has published the first of its series on insights into key industry talking points with its best practice learning in relation to snagging.

The report considered the results of research commissioned by NHQB which looked at buyers’ understanding, perceptions, and expectations in relation to snagging.

The results highlighted the need for developers to have open and continued dialogue with buyers about expectations and resolutions to snagging issues.

The report sets out 5 key recommendations in dealing with snagging and an ideal 6-step resolution process.

The report recommends that;

  1. Homes should be fully quality checked by someone not directly involved in the construction of the home
  2. Information about the snagging process, what snags are, and how they will be fixed, should be provided to buyers early in the sale
  3. Information should be provided to buyers about how to report problems which should include details of methods of contacting the developer e.g. in person, over the phone, via email or an app
  4. Defects should be resolved within 30 days, and any potential delays should be explained in advance to buyers with details of next steps
  5. Buyers should be informed that they can refer any unresolved complaints to the New Homes Ombudsman Service

The ideal 6-step resolution process is envisaged as following key steps in resolving snagging issues from identifying and reporting the issue through to following up with the buyer after the issues have been resolved.

Whilst the key recommendations and ideal 6-step resolution process are borne out of the results of the research, both reflect the wider spirit of the core principles and practical steps under the Code in relation to, amongst other things, quality, service, and responsiveness.

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