“Is there a crisis of quality in new-build homes?”

Some of the stories in the article are both heart-rending and almost unbelievable and, almost as expected now, involve Persimmon/Charles Church. Here is the conclusion of the article:

“… Stories about poor quality are far from uncommon with buyers of new homes in Britain. Just over half (51%) of new home owners have experienced major problems with their properties including issues with construction, unfinished fittings and faults with utilities, according to housing charity Shelter.

Currently, all new homes must come with a warranty from an accredited provider. About 80% have a 10-year warranty from the NHBC, an insurance company that says it inspects “every home” registered with them. During the first two years of the policy, the NHBC says the builder is responsible for fixing any defects which do not comply with its technical standards. During years three to 10, the NHBC provides direct insurance cover for damage caused by defects in specific areas of the home.

The NHBC paid out £84.8m in claims between 2016-17.

Campaign group HomeOwners Alliance says the current system does not allow for quality of workmanship and fittings. “Although work is meant to be inspected independently at key stages, the inspection regime is currently failing homebuyers,” says its chief executive Paula Higgins. Instead, she argues, there needs to be a higher body policing the sector.

“We’ve been calling for a new homes ombudsman for a long time now as we’re inundated with calls from our members about shoddy workmanship and flawed properties yet there is currently no one holding these developers to account,” she says. “These firms are under pressure to build and with a shortage of skills in the sector corners get cut.”

A spokesman for Home Builders Federation says: “Inevitably when you are building hundreds of thousands of any product, in a field in all weathers there will be some, usually very minor issues in a small number of cases. In these instances it is the builders’ responsibility to correct those issues to the satisfaction of the customer.”