Thanks to the Parliamentary Library here is an overview of the United Kingdom’s mandatory warranty scheme:
The UK’s 10-year warranty scheme called ‘Buildmark’ is administered by The National House Building Council (NHBC). The main goal of the NHBC is to raise standards in new homes.
NHBC quick stats:
• 16,000 builders and developers are on NHBC’s register
• NHBC have over 1,100 employees, including 280 building inspectors
• NHBC is an independent, non-profit distributing company
• NHBC is governed by a council with representatives from organisations interested in raising building standards in the UK.
The ‘Buildmark’10-Year Warranty:
These warranties protect around 80 per cent of all new homes built in the UK. Every new home with a NHBC warranty has to be built in accordance with NHBC standards. NHBC inspectors visit the sites at key stages during construction.
The Buildmark warranty provides protection for:
• Pre-completion insolvency cover (NHBC will reimburse the deposit or arrange for the home to be completed in line with NHBC standards)
• Cover for the first two years after completion (the builder is responsible for putting right any defects of damage caused by their failure to build to NHBC standards)
• Cover for most parts of the home in years 3-10 of ownership
Buildmark however is not a complete guarantee against all defects.
Issues and problems:
Some NHBC customers have not been happy with their experience.
The 10-year warranty should provide peace of mind to new home owners, but there have been a series of issues to highlight that this isn’t always the case.
In 2007, mould began to appear in a new home in Wigan. The NHBC inspected the house and said the mould was attributed to “lifestyle factors” through the use of the shower, cooking and drying clothes in the house (the NHBC warranty only covers condensation/mould damage if it is caused by a building defect, not lifestyle factors).
The homeowner then spent 2,500 pounds replacing belongings and cleaning the house, however the mould soon returned.
The homeowner then sought advice from other building professionals who discovered that insulation work in the house was insufficient and that a number of other defective problems with the house attributed to the mould issue.
In this case the NHBC’s diagnosis was wrong and the advice to the homeowner to reduce cooking and bathing was unacceptable.
This is just one example of many of the NHBC signing off on sub-standard homes.
Building Matters (6): Mandatory Warranty – the Australian Model, will be out later this week.
Please find a link to Building Matters (4) here.