In March 2004, following a review that had been instigated by the then Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, economist Kate Barker set challenges for the house-building industry to improve service quality and customer satisfaction ratings while increasing investment in skills and improved production techniques.
Barker highlighted the low customer satisfaction levels had been underpinned by a lack of adequate customer protection and, to some extent, the approach of house-builders. She recommended that the industry needed to work hard to restore its image with customers, developing a code of conduct for new house sales that delivered fair contracts and high levels of customer satisfaction. The report concluded that customer service must improve.
The Consumer Code for New Homes has been established to be of maximum benefit to consumers and its ultimate aim is to provide a genuine commitment to consumers, to improving standards of construction and raise customer service standards in the New Homes market, recognising that part of that commitment is providing consumers with a voice (and a clear complaints process) when things simply don’t go according to plan when they buy a New Home.
This underlying principle is echoed in the approach of the Consumer Code for New Homes Code Users (the Warranty Bodies who are signed up with us) whose site surveying activities help to improve quality of construction in house-building.
And through this quality focused approach, the Consumer Code for New Homes demonstrates a real desire to have a truly industry-led Consumer Code which can be of maximum impact in the New Homes market and can respond to real practices and trends in the industry.
The Code Sponsor is actively supported in its operational and monitoring activities by the Warranty Bodies, who have signed up to the Code as Code Users.
The Code signs up Developers who work with the Warranty Bodies as Code Members and provides a signpost of quality to our Members to enhance the New Homes they are constructing and selling.
The Code also provides access to an independent Dispute Resolution Scheme which is run by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.