Snagging Retention
English house with garage, uk

Almost 9 in 10 (88%) new build homeowners and three-quarters (76%) of UK adults want ‘snagging retention’, a system to withhold funds to housebuilders until they rectify faults, according to HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance

The figures are from a national survey conducted by the HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance looking at new build homeowner satisfaction throughout the purchase and ownership experience. The poll was carried out by YouGov.

While new build home buyers were generally satisfied with some aspects of the sales process, just 54% felt the warranty was clearly explained and only 57% felt their warranty provider resolved disputes with the builder in the first two years of ownership or put right any structural problems, thereafter.

The HomeOwners Alliance has launched a campaign calling for Government to clamp down on developers of new build homes who leave buyers with an unacceptable litany of ‘snags’ and defects.

The campaign comes after a report by the New Homes Review that found 91% of new homes had snags and defects and a report by the Home Builders Federation that showed the number of people who say they would not buy from the same builder again doubling in the last year.

It also follows a swathe of complaints about developers who have failed to fix faults with new properties from ineffective insulation to ill-fitted doors and dodgy electrics to poor plumbing.

The HomeOwners Alliance survey published 5 April 2019, found:

    • Almost 9 in 10 (88%) new build homeowners and three-quarters (76%) of UK adults support ‘snagging retention’
    • Just over half of new build homeowners (54%) say they had their warranty properly explained and less than 6 in 10 (57%) agree their warranty provider fulfilled their responsibility to put right any structural problems after the first 2 years and resolved disputes quickly with the builder in the first 2 years
    • 2 in 10 (20%) new build homeowners felt under pressure during the sales process or that they were given time to consider their decision, in order to put down a deposit on a new build home
    • Among new build homeowners, 8 in 10 (81%) are satisfied with the mortgage process and more than 7 in 10 are satisfied with the sales particulars (73%) and handover (74%), but just 6 in 10 (60%) are satisfied with the snagging process.

Kim Vernau, chief executive, BLP Insurance, says: “House builders should take careful note of the 88% of new build homeowners who believe that there should be a snagging retention process otherwise they will alienate their core customers.

“Given the widespread publicity of new homes being handed over with significant snagging errors, house builders need to urgently address their quality assurance processes.

“If the average consumer can draw up a list of errors and problems with their new home, why do qualified professionals fail to spot them? The purchase price of a new home is one of the biggest financial outlays that someone will ever make and they need the reassurance that the final finish is of the highest standard.”

Paula Higgins, chief executive, Homeowners Alliance, says: “More and more buyers of new build homes are being left with an unacceptable litany of ‘snags’ and defects. These can range from poorly secured fixtures and fittings to shoddy tiling to major roof leaks and faulty drainage.

“Government must encourage developers to offer all buyers of new homes the right to retain a very minimum of 2.5% of their purchase price for six months to give time for snags and defects to be righted. If this is not done, then they must be compensated financially.”

The survey results and campaign launch follow the news that Persimmon Homes will be the first to introduce a ‘snagging retention’ of 1.5%. The HomeOwners Alliance has asked for more details.


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