The New Homes Quality Code now means that you are entitled to a Pre-Completion Inspection before Legal Completion takes place. All developers that have signed up to The Code must make sure that Customers are aware that they have the right, as set out in The Code, to an independent Pre-Completion Inspection. This means that developers cannot deny you the opportunity to independent, third-party advice, to make sure your home has been completed to acceptable standards. That Pre-Completion Inspections will soon be widely accepted by most Developers is welcome news. Customers will be afforded a lot more protection and snags should be fixed much sooner.
The Developer must provide an opportunity for the independent inspector to carry out the inspection from five calendar days after the Notice to Complete has been served. This could be earlier if both the Developer and Customer agree. When agreeing the Legal Completion Notice Period, enough time needs to be given between Notice and Completion for the inspection to take place, and for all the necessary legal work to happen. It is expected that the usual notice period is no less than fourteen calendar days. But if the Developer and Customer agree to a different schedule then this is also acceptable. However, the vast majority of Notice Periods will be fourteen days and it is not advisable to agree to a shorter period. This will limit your ability to have a Pre-Completion Inspection. It is important to note that the Pre-Completion Inspection should not delay or prevent Legal Completion in line with the Notice to Complete. The Developer is required to respond in line with the provisions of part three of the New Homes Quality Code. This is to make sure the Customers are treated fairly. For example, the Developer should explain the process for keeping the Customer updated about the expected schedule to completion. These updates should happen in a timely manner so that adequate planning can be made.
The pre completion inspection checklist has been approved by a construction industry-wide focus group in partnership with the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB). The checklist to be recreated in an electronic or digital format. But any such change should not depart from the checks specified in the list. NHQB state it is the only checklist that should be used by suitably qualified inspectors.
To be considered a suitably qualified inspector you must meet the following criteria: Be a member of a recognized professional association experienced in surveying residential properties (e.g., RICS, RPSA, etc.) Hold relevant and adequate Professional Indemnity Insurance. Only work within their competency. Use the agreed checklist for the inspection
The snags found during the Pre-Completion Inspection must be covered and resolved quickly by the After-Sales Service Team. Once the snags have been raised the After-Sales Service process must be acknowledged promptly. In most situations it is expected that a Developer should fix any snags and other after sales issues within thirty calendar days. However, there can of course be legitimate reasons for substantial delays. For example, a particularly long lead time for replacement items. In any case this delay must be reasonable and explained with an agreed resolution date. No less than monthly updates should be provided until all matters are resolved. If you are unhappy with the customer service, you have received by the After-Sales Service Team you can make a complaint under the formal complaints process of the Developer. You could also, if you feel necessary, make a complaint through the New Homes Ombudsman Scheme.