In a pledge to champion the rights of the home buyer, the Secretary for State, James Brokenshire has announced at the Conservative Party conference that the Government will appoint a New Homes Ombudsman. This new watchdog will deal specifically with new build problems to ensure that new homes meet an acceptable quality standard.
James Brokenshire said: “This new watchdog will champion home buyers, protect their interests and hold developers to account and give confidence that when you get the keys to a new home you get the quality build you expect and the finish you pay for.”
The Secretary of State also underlined the Government’s commitment to deliver its target of 300,000 new homes by 2021. He said: “Decades of under-investment and lack of political will” had made home-ownership unattainable for too many people.
New build problems will be dealt by separate housing sector Ombudsman
The announcement offered no further detail, but suggests that earlier proposals to set up a single ombudsman to oversee all housing including social housing, private sales, lettings and new homes is unlikely to go ahead.
Another suggestion to create a single portal for consumers to report problems, which would navigate them to the relevant ombudsman covering its own sector of the housing market, now appears the most likely direction the Government intends to follow.
Ombudsman Katrine Sporle of TPO, who has been a staunch campaigner for a single ombudsman in each sector said: “We welcome the news that the Government will launch a New Homes Ombudsman. We have always agreed that new homes should be covered by an Ombudsman, as consumers have no idea that when they buy a new home directly from a developer they will have no access to a redress scheme.
This announcement will mean the housing market becomes a fairer place for all involved.”