The Consumer Code for Home Builders (“Consumer Code”) has launched a revised and updated Code, effective from 1 January 2024, which makes some significant changes to the previous edition. Housebuilders who are not yet subject to the New Homes Quality Code (NHQC) (including those that are registered but not yet activated) and still subject to the Consumer Code will need to be aware of the significant changes that will be introduced with effect from 1 January 2024.
Who does the Code apply to?
Unless registered with an alternative code scheme (such as the NHQC), subject to certain exceptions, the revised Code applies to all housebuilders registered with the Code’s supporting warranty bodies as listed below:
- National House Building Council (NHBC)
- LABC Warranty
- Premier Guarantee
Why has the Code been revised?
The Code has been revised to strengthen existing protection for customers by addressing gaps and clarifying guidance, and to align the Code more closely with other codes in the marketplace (in particular the NHQC). A number of the concepts introduced in the NHQC (such as pre-completion inspections) have also now been introduced into the new Consumer Code.
The expectation is that housebuilders (particularly those on their journey to activation under the NHQC) will already be complying with many of the new requirements.
However, for housebuilders to whom the Code applies, it will be important to ensure that all existing practices and documentation do comply, and that any necessary amendments are made ahead of the implementation date of 1 January 2024.