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Ep 23 New Homes Quality Board

3rd October 2022

In our latest New Homes podcast we talk to Redrow Customer & Quality Director Emma Morris and NHQB’s Douglas Cochrane about the New Homes Quality Board and the New Homes Ombudsman and we ask Redrow customers Luke and Dan what it means for them.


The New Homes Quality Board, an independent not-for-profit organisation set up to oversee reforms in the new-build sector, was introduced in January 2021. It has since drawn up a strict code of practice for developers on everything from sales methods to construction quality, and key to enforcing this ‘New Homes Quality Code’ is the Ombudsman service, which is due to become fully operational by the end of 2022.

Emma says: “We have known for quite a while that the change was going to come and, therefore, it was about getting ready. What we have been able to do now is really look at the detail of what the Code needs and make sure that all our customers have that experience.”



The Ombudsman service is primarily for buyers who are dissatisfied or frustrated by their developer’s performance. Under new legislation all developers will eventually be required to become and remain members of the scheme, which means they must abide by its Code. If a buyer believes their developer is in breach of the Code, by refusing to remedy defects for example, they have two years from the time of the completion to lodge a complaint.

Douglas says the principal objectives are to deliver better consumer outcomes for buyers of new homes and to improve the quality of the finish of a new home: “There are existing codes in place across a variety of different warranty providers and housebuilders, and what we want to do is create a single Code which means that any consumer buying a property, irrespective of where they buy from and what developer they buy from, gets the same standard of finish in a property and the same standard of consumer service.”

The New Homes Ombudsman will respond quickly, conducting a robust and independent investigation, and keeping the complainant informed throughout. If the complaint is upheld, the Ombudsman can order the developer to carry out remedial works, pay compensation, or both. In serious cases, a developer can be expelled from the scheme.

Douglas adds: “What the ombudsman allows the customer to do is to be able to escalate a complaint that they feel hasn’t been adequately satisfied. The ombudsman will act as a form of adjudication, looking to see what the nature of the complaint is and whether or not they find in favour of the customer or the developer. One of the key principles we’re looking at is fair treatment of customers.

“It gives an additional layer of consumer protection to what we have just now.”


Surveys show the overwhelming majority of buyers are happy with their new build homes – and Emma is proud to say Redrow customers are especially content, with nine out of ten prepared to recommend us to their friends. This year the HBF (Home Builders Federation) awarded us a coveted five-star rating for customer satisfaction, underlining our own commitment to providing outstanding service.

“We don’t want any customers to have complaints but we know, in real life, these things can happen. We have learned from other industries that are already regulated; financial, utilities, that sort of thing, that being able to submit a form that’s really easy so customers can clarify exactly what the problem is, is really important, and we have various stages of escalation. We would want to stop that going any further and be able to step in and resolve it.”

Luke says: “The My Redrow portal has been fantastic for uploading any issues and once something is on there you can see where things are…having that as an area and outlet is a really great place rather than doing it all verbally because things get lost. Once it’s there you know this will be dealt with in due course.”

With main changes including more up-front information for customers, Redrow has been making sure it’s easy for customers to access the details they want, through videos, portals, and articles, and making it as simple as possible from the moment they reserve to the end of the warranty period.


Home owners are still advised to contact their builder to deal with any issues within the first two years of occupation or their warranty provider in years three to 10. (Keep an eye on the Quality Board’s website ( for further updates).

Customers who don’t get satisfaction from their developer will be able to escalate the matter to the ombudsman, says Douglas, ‘via the portal or a telephone service so the customer can download their particular issue and give the ombudsman the full information’.


One of the advantages of buying a new-build is that, unlike existing homes, most come with an extended warranty and insurance protection. Redrow is signed up to the existing Consumer Code for Home Builders and we have our own robust Customer Charter. Our customers also have the peace of mind of a 10-year warranty, with the first two years covered by Redrow, and the remainder covered by the NHBC (National House Building Council). If you sell one of our homes while it’s still in warranty, the new owners will enjoy the same benefits.

The NHBC 10-year guarantee covers the cost of fixing any damage caused by structural defects or weatherproofing failures in your home. The parts of the property that are typically covered include: roofs; flues and chimneys; external walls to the property; internal stairs; glazing (double or triple glazing panes to outside windows and doors), and foundations.

Now with the NHQB, Luke says: “When people buy a new-build home, knowing there’s that extra level of protection and things that they can do to see how various things can be fixed is really good for reassurance and confidence.”

Happily, the vast majority of our customers never need to fall back on the various protections that are in place for new home buyers. However, we understand that buying a home is often the biggest investment they’re likely to make – so we’re happy to provide that extra reassurance and peace of mind they’re looking for. Our own Homeowner Support offering is very comprehensive. For more details click here.


Meet the guests
Douglas Cochrane
New Homes Ombudsman

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