A single consumer code won’t solve poor quality new homes, warns Consumer Code for New Homes (CCNH)

Consumer Code for New Homes responds to CMA housebuilding study

A single consumer code won’t solve poor quality new homes, warns Consumer Code for New Homes (CCNH)

The creation of a single consumer code to address growing concerns about poor quality new homes won’t work, warns the Consumer Code for New Homes in response to a proposal in the recent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) market study into housebuilding.

Sarah Langley, Director of the Consumer Code for New Homes said: Consumers should quite rightly expect the highest standards of quality when buying a new home. The creation of a single Code, as opposed to retaining the existing Chartered Trading Standards Institute Approved Codes, misses the point because the proposals don’t offer any additional protection to consumers compared with the protections already available in the existing codes in the sector. The real problem in the industry is the lack of independent quality control and enforcement during the construction process, and not the number of Codes in the sector. If we are really to drive up the quality of new homes and hold housebuilders to account, there needs to be a proper attempt at a quality technical framework with suitable enforcement.

Langley continued: Without proper sanctions it won’t matter to consumers if you have one Code or several, because housebuilders will still be able to operate as they have always done. The fact that the proposed single Code may be funded by major housebuilders does seem to undermine the purpose of the CMA Report being to protect consumers. Any Code must be truly independent from the developers it seeks to hold to account. Protecting consumers must be front and centre of any future arrangements presented by government.

Langley concluded: It is very disappointing that the report focuses on the largest national housebuilders, with only a passing reference to the smaller, local housebuilders. Not enough credit is given to the contribution small and medium sized developers make to the supply of new homes. They operate in a very different way to the major housebuilders. They are often family owned, built up over several generations and rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and their local reputation to sell homes. Their business success is reliant on them building good quality homes and providing a good level of aftercare. From the consumer’s perspective, anything which can potentially drive local housebuilders out of the market does not feel like the right solution and will reduce their choice when buying a new home.


For further information, please contact:

Sarah Langley, Consumer Code for New Homes: – 0333 900 1966

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