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Author Topic: New house builder pulled our reservation before expiry date  (Read 24837 times)

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The builder has cancelled our reservation when we were 2 weeks away from the agreed exchange date (this was not an extension). They aren't registered with an ombudsman but adopt the Consumer Code for House builders. Their action does breach the Code as it states that they don't have a right to cancel the reservation agreement. But what does this actually mean? They have already reserved the property to someone else. Does that mean we have now lost it?

Also, the code states: "If a Home Builder is found to be in serious breach of the Code, Home Warranty Bodies can apply a range of sanctions".

This is NHBC in this case and when we contacted them they said they can't help because we aren't actually home owners!  So the whole point was to receive consumer protection, but actually we don't have any it seems... Other than solicitors and trading standards is there anything else we can try?

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Re: New house builder pulled our reservation before expiry date
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 05:53:37 am »
First of all, who is the housebuilder?

To be perfectly honest the Consumer Code for Home Builders is a farce.  A government Inquiry found it to be:
"limited in its scope"
"does not appear to give homebuyers the safeguards we think they should expect" and
"it does not appear to us objectively to offer consumers a wholly satisfactory form of redress"
As you have found it offers no "protection" even when clearly a breach of requirements has occurred.

I would go further, I do not know of any plc housebuilder that has had 'sanctions', the only one of meaning being de registered from the warranty provider. It would still mean the housebuilder would have two others to use (NHBC, LABC and Premier Guarantee) even if struck off from one!

You should ask the NHBC give you the warranty policy number for the plot you bought and lost if you wish to make a claim using the Consumer Code for Home Builders. You can download the application form here
However, please be aware it may have changed since I got that one in 2011!  The NHBC should provide you with the latest application form anyway. If you get a new one can you post it so everyone can access it please.

So if you do make a claim using the Consumer Code for Home Builders it will succeed as clearly the housebuilder breached at least one requirement! But here's the rub, you can only get a maximum of £500 for "inconvenience" which may or may not include your out of pocket expenses. In any event the housebuilder should also refund your reservation fee in full even without making a claim using the CCHB.

You have in any event lost the house.

Point to note: you will find Trading Standards pretty much as useless too as they are hugely underfunded by government and ineffective as a result. This is why an independent New Homes Ombudsman is required, something I have been campaigning for (on behalf of new homebuyers) for four years. Perhaps you should write to your MP and suggest they get on with setting it up instead of announcing endless consultations and inquiries!
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