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If your new-build home comes complete with problems

We expect a new-build home to be pristine. But sadly that’s not always the case. If you’ve turned the key to find a badly fitted cupboard, damaged flooring, peeling paint, a fraying carpet or water leaking through windows, you might get straight on the phone to the developers. But if they don’t sort things out, or the faults develop over time, what are your options?

You’re protected by warranties and codes of practice

Most new-build homes have a 10-year warranty for building problems plus a developer’s warranty – usually for two years – for fixtures and fittings. The warranties should give you clear guidance on what’s covered and how to claim. Home builders also have to follow the Consumer Code for their industry. Under the Code, builders have to have a system for dealing with complaints. If you’re not happy with how they handle your complaint, you can ask to be referred to an independent dispute resolution service.

How we can help

Our team of legal experts are well-versed on problems with new builds. We can advise you on your rights under your new-build warranties and help you work out who is liable for putting right any defects. We can also talk you through the steps you’ll need to take to get those defects fixed if your developers aren’t cooperating. We’ll:

  • listen to the problem and understand when you noticed it
  • give you clear guidance on your rights and options
  • advise you on next steps
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Lawyer Profile Picture 360 360 Sophie Jones Sophie joined Which? in June 2015 specialising in landlord and tenancy as well as other areas. See profile
Catherine Hudson 360X360 Catherine Hudson Catherine is an expert in landlord and tenant law, having worked for a housing charity as a Caseworker for 15 years. See profile
Adrian Schwab Sq Adrian Schwab Adrian joined Which? Legal in June 2017 as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. Adrian received his Bachelor in Law degree from the Holborn Law School in 2006.
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