What is the Code?

The Consumer Code for Homebuilders is an industry led code of conduct for builders, which was developed to make the home buying process fairer and more transparent for purchasers.

The Code, which came into effect in April 2010, applies to all homebuilders registered with the UK’s main new home warranty providers; NHBC, Premier Guarantee and LABC Warranty and consists of 19 requirements and principles that home builders must meet in their marketing and selling of homes and their after-sales customer service.

In order find out which participating Home Warranty Body is covering the property, please refer to your reservation agreement. The Code applies to complaints arising and made within two years of the date of legal completion of the first purchase. An independent resolution service is available for homebuyers who believe their builder has failed to meet the requirements of the Code.

Purpose of the Code

The aim of the Code is to ensure that all new home buyers are:

  • are treated fairly,
  • know what levels of service to expect,
  • are given reliable information about their purchase and their consumer rights before and after they move in, and know how to access speedy, low-cost dispute resolution arrangements to deal with complaints.

The Code reinforces best practice among home builders to make sure the level of information and customer service provided by all builders is consistently high. It builds on successful efforts already made by the industry to improve consumer satisfaction in recent years.

Dispute Resolution Scheme

If a home buyer believes they have a dispute because a home builder has failed the meet the requirements of the Code, they may refer their dispute to an independent Dispute Resolution Scheme.

Research

For more information on Customer Satisfaction levels and research undertaken by the Consumer Code, please refer to the National New Homes Customer Satisfaction Survey, the New Homes Review and the Consumer Code for Home Builders Annual Report

Code Review

As part of the Code’s triennial review, and as a result of its application to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS), the Consumer Code for Home Builder’s Management Board sought the views of Home Builders, trade bodies and all other stakeholders on the overall scope, operation and impact of the Code, as detailed in its previous consultation, which closed on 31 October 2015.

Having considered the responses to the consultation, the Management Board sought views on some specific changes to the Code and the guidance provided to home builders, while maintaining its overall aims and objectives. The closing date for responses was 30 April 2016.

Those responses are now being considered and it is envisaged that the announcement of any changes to the Code and its guidance will be made by Autumn 2016.