Helping UK new home buyers

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"It is not in our view acceptable for a builder to prevent a buyer from choosing their own solicitor in an open addition, any solicitor who acts for a buyer is bound by their own profession's code of conduct, which I am advised includes requirements to act in the best interests of their client and not to allow their independence to be compromised."

"With regard to the specific examples, where buyers had suffered problems with their new homes:- I understand that where a home was not finished when legal completion took place, this is not acceptable. However, in our experience this is highly unusual. A solicitor should not complete a sale, and is normally not able to draw down mortgage funds, until the insurance Cover Note has been issued by the relevant warranty organisation. If a property is covered by a warranty provided by one of the Code’s participating warranty bodies, and there are faults with the construction as described, the buyer can seek assistance in getting them put right under the warranty."

"If a buyer was told the warranty Cover Note had been issued when it had not, the buyer should complain to the solicitor and, if necessary, to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. NHBC’s experience is that this situation is very rare. NHBC also provides an on-line service so that solicitors can check whether a Cover Note has been issued."

"In the situation where the specification had been changed and the length of the lease had been reduced, whilst a solicitor should have been aware of changes to the lease, we believe that they are unlikely to have been told about any changes to the specification. The purpose of the Code is to cover this sort of issue and if having complained to the builder the buyer is dissatisfied with the outcome, the buyer can consider pursuing the matter through the Code’s Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme. This is also the case for the home where one room was smaller than shown in the brochure."

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What the NHBC say about using Builders’ Solicitors