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Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders
The consumer code operated by Build-Zone, is called the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for home builders. The code applies to developments benefiting from a new home warranty, which are registered with Build-Zone after 1st June 2016.
What is the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders?
The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for home builders is a mandatory code which has been established to ensure that consumers are protected from undesirable trading practices during the new home buying process. It also ensures that best practice is followed by builders/developers (and their respective agents) who are registered with Build-Zone, for the marketing, sale and purchase of new homes. It sets expected standards for 'after sale' customer care and service, including the rectification of snagging items.
The aim of the code is to provide genuine commitment to consumers and improve standards of construction and customer service, in the new homes market. The code recognises that part of that commitment is to provide consumers with a voice when things don’t go according to plan.
There is a clear process for consumer complaints, set out in the code. Complaints are made in writing to the developer within two years from the date of completion of the New Home. Complaints that cannot be resolved satisfactorily, can then be referred to the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).
The code also applies to second and subsequent buyers of the new home, but only in respect of 'after sale' matters reported within two years of the date of the completion of the New Home.
Nothing contained within the code affects the buyer’s existing legal rights and does not replace any existing legislation, regarding the sale and marketing of new homes to consumers. Where a developer or their agent is found to be in serious breach of the code, the code sponsor can apply a range of sanctions, including removal from the code’s register of members.
What does the Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders Cover?
The code covers the new home buying process through all stages, to ensure that the selling activities the developer engages in, are of a consistently high standard. This includes:
Pre-Purchase Stage – ensuring high standards of customer service, fair and clear documentation and provision of accurate and adequate information relating to the proposed purchase
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 about 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 their new home
Complaints & Disputes – consumers have access to a clear, speedy and low-cost independent dispute resolution service if things don’t go according to plan
Purpose of the Build-Zone Code of Conduct
The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for home builders ensures that as a new home buyer:
you will be treated fairly by the developer and their agents
you can have confidence in the developer’s legal and professional status as a company
you will be given clear and reliable information about the new home and the purchase process
you will know what standards of construction & service level to expect from the developer
you can access speedy, low-cost dispute resolution if you are not satisfied with the sales process
you will understand what you have to do to maintain your new home and address any problems that may arise
if you are in a vulnerable position, this is readily identified and you are given suitable support to help assist you in making decisions.
The Build-Zone Code of Conduct for Home Builders is operated by the code sponsor Sennocke International Insurance Services Ltd which is an associate member of the UK Finance Initiative.