Housing Secretary clamps down on shoddy housebuilders

  • A New Homes Ombudsman will protect homebuyers from rogue developers
  • Under new rules, rogue builders will have to pay compensation for shoddy work
  • The Ombudsman will be independent and enforced in law as soon as possible
  • Housebuilders must join the Ombudsman so all homebuyers see swift action to resolve issues
  • Builders must also put quality first to sell homes under the government’s new Help to Buy scheme

Homebuyers who are faced with shoddy building work in their new homes will be protected by a new, independent Ombudsman, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed today (24 February 2020).

The New Homes Ombudsman will step in to help homebuyers with issues from sloppy brick work to faulty wiring – and will have statutory powers to award compensation, ban rogue developers from building, and order developers to fix poor building work.

Where people are in dispute with developers, the new Ombudsman will act swiftly and independently to resolve any issues – ending the injustice of people facing long waits and costly court cases trying to sort out problems with their new homes.

New laws will also require all developers to belong to the Ombudsman, giving all homebuyers access to swift redress.

As part of the government’s wider work to raise the standard of homes across the country, new measures have also been confirmed that make sure all homes sold under the future Help to Buy scheme meet higher standards – and ensure developers put quality first.

Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

It’s completely unacceptable that so many people struggle to get answers when they find issues with their dream new home.

That’s why the Ombudsman will stop rogue developers getting away with shoddy building work and raise the game of housebuilders across the sector.

Homebuyers will be able to access help when they need it, so disputes can be resolved faster and people can get the compensation they deserve.

Currently, homebuyers who purchase new builds have no independent way of challenging developers’ service or poor workmanship.

Today’s news will give people buying a new home the confidence they need that when they get the keys to their home, they are getting the quality they expect.

This is the latest in a series of policies the government is putting forward to build better homes across the country – including developing a new National Model Design Code; consulting on the Future Homes Standard to tackle climate change; and introducing a new Building Safety Regulator to bring fundamental change to the sector.

/Public Release. View in full here.