I shouldn't have to pay to get defects put right!
The idea of paying for professional services in relation to construction defects in new build homes is an unpopular idea among owners, no doubt.
And we can well understand why.
You were probably promised a high quality high spec efficient comfortable new home built to exacting modern standards with few faults, and what faults there were would be resolved efficiently and fairly after you moved in.
The housebuilder probably showed you its latest HBF Star Rating as proof of how satisfied its existing customers are.
You were no doubt provided with a new home warranty for peace of mind.
You were sold the dream of maintenance free, hassle free ownership.
But now, if you are reading this, chances are you have found that what was promised was somewhat different to what was delivered.
Pervasive poor workmanship. Damaged and sullied finish. Cheap materials and fittings. Design and construction errors. Probably more serious issues too (this ‘probably’ is based on research done by Shelter.org that found over 50% of new builds suffered serious construction defects).
And having reported issues to the housebuilder as directed by them, if you are reading this, chances are you have found that their idea of customer service is somewhat different to yours. Missed appointments. Bodged repairs. Calls and emails ignored. Assurances and verbal agreements reneged on. Patronising rejections of things that are clearly wrong. Warranty providers that reject legitimate claims and hand you back to the housebuilder for the more trivial things they do accept. These are typical of the experiences many new build owners encounter when trying to get things put right after they move in, particularly the more serious ones.
Why is it like this?
The hard truth is, it isn’t the housebuilders job to tell you what you need to know or do in order for you to get what you want out of them, in order for you to get them to put things right properly. Their job, let’s face it, is to build as cheaply as possible, sell for as much as possible, make as much money out of you as possible, and avoid as much liability to you for the consequences of this as possible. If all you do is follow the procedures and routines they lay on for you when you buy a new build home (customer care procedures, new home warranty claims etc), the one thing you can be assured of is that those procedures are designed and run to serve their interests, not yours. That means, you going without.
Your job, by contrast, is to get as much out of them as possible in terms of remedial works required to resolve design and construction defects, non-compliance with building regulations, planning breaches, etc.
In other words, yours and their interests are completely, diametrically opposed. Why would they give you what they don’t have to? Why would they tell you what works for you, rather than what works for them?
The fact is, they don’t need to fix defects in your home in order to sell more of them. They need to keep you from complaining about them to prospective purchasers. Which of course you are likely to want to do anyway to ensure you don’t damage your own interests on resale. So, they really don’t have to try that hard.
The only way you can reliably get them to fix their errors and defects in your home if they are not willing to do that voluntarily (which is the common experience especially for more serious and costly-to-repair issues) is to force them.
Forcing them is not what you signed up for when you bought, granted. It is however the only thing that works reliably if you want them to fix their mistakes and bodges at their cost.
Of course you could just fix things yourself at your own cost, but most people who just paid full price for something defective would find the prospect abhorrent and unjust. Besides, many of the things that are likely to need fixing will be costly, disruptive and complex to do right, possibly raising affordability issues and certainly posing the unwelcome prospect of you having to learn new trades and skill sets if you took these things on yourself. If you could get those responsible for the problems to project manage and procure remedial works at their cost, why wouldn’t you?
Which is precisely what we help you do.
We specialise in helping owners of defective new build homes enforce their rights and get major defects put right properly by those responsible. We show you what to do, how, when, which professionals to use and how to play the game to maximise your chances of getting them to fix their mistakes at their cost. Our approach is not free (although we do have a lot of free self-help guides and useful information on our website which you should make use of), but with our unrivalled expertise in this area we have developed an approach that makes it as affordable and cost-effective as possible for you and that maximises your chances of getting a positive and fair outcome.
There has to be some financial imperative to go down this road in the first place. If you’re looking at issues you reasonably think would take say £10k or more to put right (and in our experience that’s almost all owners, and most people radically underestimate the true cost or value of works required), then our approach and the professional services we have available for owners represent the best possible options in terms of affordability, cost-effectiveness and positive outcomes based on proven best practice under the guidance of the UK’s leading experts. And if you are unsure if this is something you could benefit from, you can sign up for free and get a free case review (we call this a “New Member Review”) to find out.
What have you got to lose by doing your New Member Review? Nothing, except maybe the hour or so it might take you to do it.
What have you got to gain by doing this? Empowerment, fair outcomes, substantial value of works done that you would otherwise go without or have to pay for yourself, financial compensation in appropriate cases, a better quality more valuable and more saleable home, and possibly the avoidance of months or years of frustration stress and disappointment of doing battle with the housebuilder or warranty provider on their terms for little or no return.
Sign up for free today to find out more and get your New Member Review underway.
Our court-quality expert surveys of new build homes typically cost from £600-2,500 plus VAT, depending on the size of the property, the range of issues that the owner is already aware of, the amount of opening up required to properly investigate some major defects, and the particular needs and requirements of the owner.
The typical value of remedial works identified in such reports ranges from £25,000-£400,000. Yes, £400,000. We have had a few members with lower value issues but they are the exception, not the rule. Most owners have tens of thousands of pounds' worth of repairs outstanding. Some only discover this once a surveyor has been to site.
The cost of our surveying reports is invariably a tiny fraction of the value of works the reports help our members unlock. The return on investment our members achieve is generally huge.
If affordability is an issue, speak to your neighbours and fellow residents. It is highly likely that their homes suffer the same problems as yours. Working together can radically reduce the per-household cost of getting surveying evidence and taking effective action to get a substantial value of remedial works or cash payouts far in excess of the costs incurred.
Get in touch for more information on how we can help you and your fellow neighbours get fair outcomes on snagging and defects in your new build homes.