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New Homes Ombusdman to 'champion consumers'

Tuesday 02 October 2018

Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire MP, has announced that a New Homes Ombudsman is to be appointed, to specifically address quality problems in new build properties.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference yesterday, the Housing Secretary pledged the UK's biggest domestic priority was building homes to satisfy the country's needs, and declared the new watchdog will champion homebuyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account. 

Part of a wider package of reforms announced by the Government this week, the new ombudsman - which all developers will be required to join - would support homebuyers facing problems with their newly built home, giving consumers the confidence that when they get the keys to a new home they get the quality build they'd expect and the finish they pay for. 

A spokesperson from the National House Building Council said: “NHBC welcomes moves to give greater protection to homebuyers and we look forward to seeing more details of the proposals and supporting the Government and industry going forward.”

It had previously been suggested that one single housing ombudsman would be announced, encompassing new-builds, social housing and both private sales and lettings, however following the announcement, this now seems unlikely.

Commenting on the announcement, Property Ombudsman Katrine Sporle said: “We welcome the news that the Government will launch a New Homes Ombudsman. We have always agreed that new homes should be covered by an Ombudsman, as consumers have no idea that when they buy a new home directly from a developer they will have no access to a redress scheme. This announcement will mean the housing market becomes a fairer place for all involved.”