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Information for Solicitors

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The Consumer Code for New Homes, approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, has been established to ensure that best practice is followed by registered Developers in respect of the marketing, selling and purchasing of New Homes to consumers. The Code also sets expected standards for after sales customer care service.

 

It 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.

 

The Code ensures that Buyers of New Homes:

What is the Consumer Code for New Homes?

  • are treated fairly by the Developer (and their Agent)

  • are confident about the Developer’s legal and professional status as a company

  • are given clear and reliable pre- contract information upon which to make decisions about purchasing a New Home

  • are reassured that their reservation deposit is protected and that they have 14 days to cancel the agreement

  • know what standards of construction to expect from the Developer

  • know what service levels to expect from the Developer (and their Agent)

  • are given reliable and realistic information about construction, completion and handover dates

  • understand what they have to do to maintain their New Home and address any problems that may arise

  • know how to make a complaint and access speedy, low-cost Dispute resolution arrangements if they are dissatisfied.

  • in a vulnerable position are identified and given suitable support to help assist them in making decisions.

Developer 1 (1024x719)

The Consumer Code for New Homes sets higher levels of consumer protection above and beyond the law. The Code covers the New Home buying process to ensure that the selling activities the Developer engages in are of a consistently high standard.

 

This includes:

What does the Code offer my Client?

Nothing contained within this Code affects a Buyer’s existing legal rights and does not replace any existing legislation regarding the sale and marketing of New Homes to consumers.

  • Pre-Purchase Stage: ensuring high standards of customer service, fair and clear documentation, adequate information provision

  • Contract Exchange Stage: governing the Contract of Sale, requiring minimum standards for fair and transparent contracts, accurate information about when the property will be available and protecting deposits

  • Handover and After Sales: providing minimum standards for handover and after sales processes, ensuring consumers' health & safety and ensuring they have suitable information for maintaining and living in your property

  • Complaints & Disputes: giving consumers access to clear, speedy and low cost dispute resolution if things don't go according to plan

Developer 4 (1024x683)

To ensure the high standards of the Code are maintained the Developer must:

What obligations are placed on the Developer?

  • Sign a Code Member Agreement consenting to abide by the rules of the Code

  • Train all consumer-facing staff (including Agents) so that they fully understand the Code requirements

  • Ensure all advertisements and marketing material is clear, truthful and not misleading

  • Publicise their commitment to the Code on their website and wherever they sell New Homes

  • Provide Buyers clear pre-purchase information so that they can make informed decisions about purchasing a New Home

  • Provide a fair and clear Contract of Sale, clearly explaining any terms and conditions

  • Provide additional support to Vulnerable Consumers including first-time Buyers

  • Protect all Buyers deposits and any pre-payments they make

  • Provide reliable and realistic information about construction, completion and handover dates

  • Provide high standards of construction and service levels

  • Have a clear complaints procedure and take part in the alternative dispute resolution process in good faith, abiding by any awards made

  • Provide regular monitoring information to assist us with measuring the effectiveness of the Code

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