LABC Warranty proud to announce investment in future of the Code

The Consumer Code for Homebuilders will remain a vital, voluntary code for the builders of new homes, following a comprehensive review led John Bridgerman CBE, former Director General of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Consumer Code for Home Builders to stay and strengthen

About the Code

The Consumer Code for Home Builders (the Code), of which LABC Warranty is a founding member, has been the leading consumer protection code for the homebuilding industry for more than decade.

Founded in 2010, the Code outlines the best practices to make sure that home buyers are:

  • Treated fairly when buying a home.
  • Receive the appropriate level of customer service.
  • Are offered accurate and reliable information about their home throughout the buying process.
  • Have access to information about their rights under the code, such as access to a dispute resolution service.

Until 2022, all builders using LABC Warranty’s latent defects insurance were obligated to adhere to the Code. With the introduction of the New Homes Quality Code, builders using LABC Warranty may choose to adhere to either code.

About the changes

While John Bridgerman’s report concluded that the Code was doing an admirable job in its role as a consumer protection code, areas remain where improvements can be driven.
This includes:

  • Aligning different code schemes and simplifying access to complaint advice for customers.
  • Raising the maximum financial compensation threshold, and increasing the amount that can be awarded for stress and inconvenience.
  • Improving the approach to snagging issues and tackling common causes of complaint for new-build home buyers.
  • Increasing the scope of the Code to include shared ownership.
  • Improving support for vulnerable customers.
  • Outlawing financial incentives to complete on properties that haven’t yet met warranty standards and requiring any commissions for recommending products and services to be declared.

“This review reinforces the importance of robust consumer protection for the buyers of new build homes. We’re pleased to see the Code’s positive role recognised, particularly in relation to our independent complaints process and sanctions regime,” said Noel Hunter OBE, Code Chairman.

“However, John Bridgeman has brought into focus the areas we need to strengthen to extend the scope of our Code, some of which we have already started to implement.”

For more information on the changes, and access to a copy of the report, read more here.

About the alternatives

The Code runs parallel to the New Homes Quality Code (NHQC), created and operated by the New Homes Quality Board.

The Board itself was founded in 2021 with the task of introducing a framework that analyses the performance of the New Homes Ombudsman Service, in addition to providing other support and protection to consumers.

The New Homes Quality Code fulfils many of the same functions as the Code, allowing warranty providers like LABC Warranty accept adherence to either the Code or the NHQC.

About your choices

While LABC Warranty remains a proud and invested member of the Code, and looks forward to seeing the recommendations above materialise, as a builder or developer you have the choice of whether to adhere to the Code or the NHQC on your next development.

LABC Warranty requires that you make your choice known to us ahead of time. Regardless of the code you choose to adhere to, there will be no impact on your eligibility to use LABC Warranty’s latent defects insurance.

However, we advise that you inform LABC Warranty as soon as possible of your intention to change code adherence to ensure we can signpost the correct code to any home buyers.

Questions? Get in touch

If you have any questions about the Code, or your obligations under the Code, feel free to get in touch.

You can use the contact details at the bottom of this page, or feel free to contact your regional LABC Warranty representative

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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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