The Code covers every stage of the home-buying purchase – pre-contract, exchange of contract and during occupation.
Home Buyers must be given enough pre-purchase information to help them make suitably informed purchasing decisions.
In all cases this information must include:
- a written Reservation agreement including the reservation fee; what is being sold; the purchase price; how and when the Reservation agreement will end and how long the price remains valid;
- an explanation of the Home Warranty cover;
- a description of any management services and organisations to which the Home Buyer will be committed and an estimate of their cost;
- the nature and method of assessment of any event fees such as transfer fees or similar liabilities.
Also, if a Home is not yet completed (for example when buying off plan), the information must include:
- a brochure or plan illustrating the general layout, appearance and plot position of the Home;
- a list of the Home’s contents;
- the standards to which the Home is being built.
Exchange of Contract
The Home Builder must provide a contract which is clear and fair, complies with all relevant legislation and clearly explains the Home Buyer’s contract termination rights.
The Home Buyer must be given reliable and realistic information about when construction of the Home may be finished, the date of Legal Completion, and the date for handover of the Home.
If an unreasonable delay occurs in completing the Home, the Home Buyer has the right not to go ahead with the purchase and have their Reservation fee returned without deductions.
The Home Builder must clearly explain how Home Buyers’ contract deposits are protected and how any other pre-payments are dealt with.
The Home Builder must provide the Home Buyer with an accessible after-sale service, and explain what the service includes, who to contact, and what guarantees and warranties apply to the Home.
If the Home Buyer moves into a Home where building work is still in progress on surrounding properties, they must be told about the health-and-safety precautions they should take when living on a development where building work continues.
The Home Builder must have a system and procedures for receiving, handling, and resolving Home Buyers’ service calls and complaints. The Home Builder must let the Home Buyer know of this, and of the dispute resolution arrangements operated as part of the Code, in writing.