MSP Graham Simpson is seeking views on whether legislation is needed in Scotland to protect buyers of new homes who find themselves in dispute with their housebuilder over defects in their homes.
We are supportive of the MSP’s desire to improve consumer protection within the housing sector, but we do not believe that this should be tackled in isolation to what is happening in the rest of the UK.
A single housing Ombudsman is not, in our view, the only solution in addressing the issues the consultation has raised. An Ombudsman, for example, will not deal with issues of build quality and customer service which have concerned consumers, but would simply address the problems that arise. We believe a more fundamental approach to improving the quality of all new homes is essential, and that is what the Consumer Code for Home Builders (“the Code”) is working to achieve.
Furthermore, in proposing any changes to new build customer redress, a consistent system should apply throughout the UK given many home builders, and buyers, may operate across borders.
We have proposed further solutions for consideration in our consultation response. You can read our full response here: http://www.consumercode.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CCHB-Response-to-Proposed-New-Build-Homes-Buyer-Protection-Scotland-Bill-27-June-2019.pdf