Frustrated New-Build Owners Demand Retention Scheme

90% of new-build home buyers believe the only way they can ensure developers rectify snags and home defects is to withhold a significant amount of the property’s value.

Persimmon are the first of the developer juggernauts to present buyers with a ‘snagging retention’ process.

Under their new scheme, buyers will be able to keep hold of 1.5% of the property value and will have a day to make a list of all snagging concerns and property defects. Persimmon claim this will ensure that all concerns are dealt with swiftly.

However, the company have, as yet, not made any assurances on the future snags and defects that home buyers may find once they are living in their newly built home.

Whilst this will certainly provide more power to the consumer in ensuring all defects are rectified quickly, home buyers believe that a larger commitment of money held over a more extended period of time is needed to make sure it is in the developers’ best interests to fix any faults as soon as they are lodged.

The HomeOwners Alliance are fronting a new campaign calling for a minimum 2.5% ‘snagging retention’ that would be put aside until the home owner is completely satisfied with their newly built home.

Over half (54%) of new build home owners felt their warranty was not clearly explained to them when purchasing the property with many confused as to what they were entitled to claim for. Fewer still (43%), felt their warranty provider offered a fast and committed service when dealing with any disputes or property concerns.

With a fifth of buyers feeling under pressure to put down their deposit by a sales rep or estate agent, many feel that this excessive pressure to amend faults should be reciprocated by the businesses themselves.

 Kim Vernau, Chief Executive, BLP Insurance, said: “Housebuilders should take careful note of the 88% of new build homeowners who believe that there should be a snagging retention process otherwise they will alienate their core customers.

“Given the widespread publicity of new homes being handed over with significant snagging errors, house builders need to urgently address their quality assurance processes. If the average consumer can draw up a list of errors and problems with their new home, why do qualified professionals fail to spot them? The purchase price of a new home is one of the biggest financial outlays that someone will ever make and they need the reassurance that the final finish is of the highest standard.

“Consumers who are buying a new home should check if their developer is a member of the Consumer Code for New Homes as this will provide much needed reassurance that developers and their sales agents adhere to a high standard of professionalism in relation to the construction and sales process.”

Paula Higgins, Chief Executive, Homeowners Alliance, says: “More and more buyers of new build homes are being left with an unacceptable litany of ‘snags’ and defects. These can range from poorly secured fixtures and fittings to shoddy tiling to major roof leaks and faulty drainage.

“Our HomeOwners Alliance ‘snagging retention’ campaign will incentivise developers to deliver decent, correctly-finished homes before buyers move in as well as to come back swiftly and deal with any emerging snags or defects. Sadly, money talks – if we want better quality homes, we must let homeowners hold back cash.

“In the Government’s drive to build more homes quality has been compromised in the quest for quantity. Government  must encourage developers to offer all buyers of new homes the right to retain a very minimum of 2.5% of their purchase price for six months to give time for snags and defects to be righted. If this is not done, then they must be compensated financially.”

“Persimmon have taken a step in the right direction but let’s hope it is not a PR exercise. They have only agreed to put right snags identified the day people move in – not emerging snags. Expecting new build homebuyers to inspect and produce a snagging list the day they move into their home is setting them up to fail. We would be happy to work with them and all other new build home developers to create a fairer snagging retention.”

Do you think that buyers are too isolated once the home has been purchased? Should buyers have more power in this after-process?

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