After hearing from constituents across Newport East, I recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ask:
What measures are in place to deter new-build housing developers from preventing potential buyers from choosing their own mortgage advisors and housing solicitors.
Here’s the reply I received from Stuart Andrew, Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Minister for Housing).
The Government expects all purchasers of new-build homes to be able to seek independent advice when making a purchase. We are committed to appointing a New Homes Ombudsman to help buyers of new homes when something goes wrong by determining complaints by buyers and resolving disputes. The Building Safety Bill, currently before Parliament includes powers to introduce the New Homes Ombudsman and a developers’ code of practice to set out clearly the conduct and quality of work expected of developers.
Under the Government’s Help To Buy Equity Loan scheme developers are required to comply with the Consumer Code for Home Builders. This requires developers not to restrict a buyers choice of legal representative, financial adviser or mortgage intermediary and to advise them to take independent advice. In addition most new build homes are issued with a 10 year new-build warranty which often requires a developer to be subject to a code of practice, many of which will similarly require developers not to restrict a buyers choice of adviser.