Following the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment’s (APPGEBE) More homes, fewer complaints report in 2016 it became highly apparent that consumers had inadequate redress to sort out problems they were encountering with new homes. As a result, the APPGEBE’s main recommendation from that Inquiry was to set up a New Homes Ombudsman. The idea was well received and their sixth inquiry wished to explore how it might work in practice. In particular the following four questions:
- Current complaints procedures for purchasers of new homes, including how they work, what works well and their limitations
- The potential scope for a New Homes Ombudsman and how it could work in practice
- How could a new position be funded by the home building sector and what would be the alternative?
- What could a New Homes Ombudsman learn from similar schemes already in operation, including for example, The Property Ombudsman, The Housing Ombudsman, The Financial Ombudsman and The Energy Ombudsman, amongst others.
The CIOB has made a response and believes the creation of the New Homes Ombudsman will improve the quality of new homes by forcing house builders to put customer care front and centre with the knowledge that there would be a clear step customers can take to complain to an independent party.
The full response can be accessed below.