The Ministry for Homes, Communities and Local Government has announced more information regarding the proposed new homes ombudsman.
The government is eager to create a mechanism whereby disgruntled customers have an independent means of redress.
The spirit of the ombudsman is clear and forceful from two government quotes:
“The ombudsman will stop rogue developers getting away with shoddy building work and raise the game of housebuilders across the sector”
“give people buying a new home the confidence they need that when they get the keys to their home, they are getting the quality they expect.”
But when it comes to detail it seems there is still some way to go. There is no date for the enshirement of the ombudsman in law just “as soon as possible”
Where customers are in dispute with the developer “the new ombudsman will act swiftly and independently to resolve any issues”. It sounds decisive but lacks specifics.
However, it was made clear that it will be compulsory that all house builders sign up to the ombudsman.
It will be interesting to see what adjustments housebuilders need to make to meet the ombudsman’s required standard. Will those adjustments limit speed of production or hit profit margins? And will it actually prove to be a great marketing tool for house builders to tempt second hand buyers into a new home?