Home Buyers and Home Builders can now benefit from a newly-introduced opportunity to review decisions made by the Consumer Code for Home Builders’ Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme before they are set in stone. From October 2018, the scheme will incorporate an initial draft ruling on disputes for comment prior to the Adjudicator’s final decision.

Disputes submitted to the Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme are resolved using an adjudication process. An experienced, independent Adjudicator reviews written submissions from both parties and issues a decision based on his or her conclusions. This decision rules whether or not the Home Buyer has a legitimate dispute and to what extent they have to demonstrate a financial loss as a result, together with steps that must be taken to comply with the ruling. In the past, the outcome was fixed at this point.

The new draft ruling gives both parties the opportunity to ensure the conclusions drawn are accurate and that all relevant information has been supplied to enable a fair decision to be reached.  For example, home buyers may opt to submit additional evidence of financial loss, or home builders may challenge the proposed solutions if another route would be more effective. It will not however allow the parties to introduce any new complaints.

Noel Hunter, Chairman of the Consumer Code explains “The aim is to ensure all parties involved get the opportunity to provide the right evidence, at the right time, during a dispute.”

Home Buyers and Home Builders will be given 10 days to submit their responses after the draft decision is provided. The Adjudicator will then have 5 days to make their final ruling after responses have been received.

Further information about the IDRS can be found at www.consumercode.co.uk

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