The Law Shop is now closed. Please click here to find out more.

New Housing Complaints

Perhaps when buying a house becomes harder due to the decline of the economy, homeowners become less inclined to tolerate defect in a house that they had to struggle harder to afford.

Moving into a shoddily built house is perhaps the worst case scenario when it comes to building disputes. With specimens of bad workmanship in every corner, the disquiet is more universal within your abode. Many people find defects in their new homes, despite regulations which try to ensure otherwise.

Making a complaint

Naturally you should report any fault you find immediately, so that it cannot aggravate and to minimise the amount of bother it causes you.

Luckily, there is a Buildmark warranty from the National House Building Council. Thanks to this, any defects discovered within the first 2 years of residence of a new home can be corrected for free by the building firm responsible for the work. You also have some protection from the 3rd to the 10th year.

Gathering evidence

The first step to take if you wish to make a complaint is to write to the building company, explaining the defect you have found. It is a good idea to support your letter by means of photographs. You can also seek a second opinion on the matter from an expert in order to bolster your claim, and there are many companies which will offer this service.

Make sure you keep copies of any correspondence with the builder or building company, as this could be vital evidence down the road if the building company does not settle your complaint to your satisfaction. For extra insurance, you could also send any letters via recorded delivery, so they cannot deny that they have received them.

If they accept that there is a fault with the property then you will need to arrange a time that is mutually convenient when the repairs can take place.

If your request is not acknowledged, getting the NHBC involved is your next step.

National House Building Council complaints

The National House Building Council's Resolution Service will help to settle disputes over defects which relate to the NHBC standards. The NHBC standards require builders to fulfil all of their obligations under the Buildmark policy.

If you take your complaint to the NHBC and inform them that the builder or building company has not acted to fix a defect, the NHBC will begin by contacting the builder and asking why the defect in question has not been dealt with.

If this doesn't result in a resolution, the NHBC will set up a resolution meeting in your home. This gives a representative from the NHBC a chance to have a look at the defects, and also allows you to explain the problem, and the builder to explain why it hasn't been fixed.

The outcome of this meeting will be a "Resolution Report", in which the NHBC will clarify its findings, and detail what the builder must do to fix the problem. If the NHBC finds that nothing needs to be fixed, the report will say this, and the builder will not need to do anything else.

If either you or the builder refuses to accept the findings of the report, you may need to seek an alternative method of dispute resolution, or even legal action.


Other legal topics that may interest you