Latest News

Scottish Government releases phased route map

22 May 2020

A five-phase route map was released on 21 May, with a brief mention in Phase One about the safe reopening of the housing market. Read More...

Scottish Government to introduce additional changes to the property sector

21 May 2020

The Coronavirus (Scotland) No 2 Bill was passed on Wednesday 20 May and is likely to receive Royal Assent imminently. The Bill introduces new emergency measures and adds to the changes made by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. Read More...

Agents to ensure ‘newly listed’ properties fall within guidance

21 May 2020

As agents in England are now able to conduct viewings, descriptions such as ‘recently added’ or ‘new instruction’ prior to lockdown will no longer be valid for properties that have been re-listed, or because the market was suspended. Read More...

New Homes Ombudsman announcement

Monday 14 October 2019

In today’s Queen’s Speech, it was announced that ministers will introduce a raft of new measures including the introduction of a New Homes Ombudsman.

The proposed New Homes Ombudsman would necessitate developers of new build houses to join a scheme similar to what is required of estate and lettings agents to ensure consumers have the same level of access to redress.

A MHCLG spokesperson confirmed that the ombudsman would be separate from the regulator and would be a “watchdog that champions homebuyers, protects their interests and holds developers to account”.

Propertymark’s views and responses

In August 2019, NAEA Propertymark responded to the UK Government’s Redress for Purchasers of New Build Homes and the New Homes Ombudsman: A Technical Consultation where we stated that we believed that developers who build and sell homes on the open sales market, self-builders and developers who convert and sell properties should all be required to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman.

Consultation response

NAEA Propertymark also put forward proposals for an ombudsman scheme for purchasers of new build homes and for all new house builders sign up to the Consumer Code for Home Builders in our research, Leasehold: A Life Sentence.

We outlined our concerns and put our proposals forward to the House of Commons Housing Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry into leasehold reform and the government’s call for evidence into improving the home buying and selling process.

Currently, consumers who buy a new home directly from a developer have no access to redress and housebuilders’ sales staff do not fall under the 1979 Estate Agent’s Act.

Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark comments on the building safety standards legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech: “We are very supportive of the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman. The irony of buying a shiny brand new home and finding yourself dealing with a number of snagging issues, with no easy path of redress, is not lost on consumers. There should be a statutory requirement to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman and the remit should be UK wide. Property developers should be charged per unit, ensuring that the access is free for customers.”