The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment has recently published their report, More homes, fewer complaints, following the Commission of Inquiry into the quality and workmanship of new housing in England.
In the chairman’s foreword, Oliver Colvile MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment commented “The UK housebuilding industry needs to raise supply. In tandem, it also needs to ensure that the quality of new build housing is good enough for people to live in. Although large numbers of homebuyers are happy with the quality of their new homes, there have been too many reports of new homes that are quite simply uninhabitable”.
The weight of evidenced received by the All Party Parliamentary Group suggested that as the number of new homes being built has increased, so house quality has declined. Constituents have been frustrated by problems in their new homes and a lack of adequate recourse.
The Government is committed to building 200,000 new homes a year during this Parliament. This means that over one million new homes are expected to be built by 2020. As an industry, however, it is imperative that increasing the quantity of new homes must not be achieved at the expense of their quality.
The Report states “We need to ensure that consumers are buying new homes that are fit for purpose, are of enduring quality, perform to the requisite levels of maintenance cost and energy efficiency and give peace of mind, pride and enjoyment to those who occupy them”.
Through their report, the All Party Parliamentary Group make 10 recommendations which they believe will ensure housebuilders up their game and put consumers at the heart of the business model. Alongside this, the Group also believe the Government should use its influence to promote quality at every opportunity. The 10 recommendations put forward are:
DCLG should initiate steps to set up a New Homes Ombudsman
Housebuilding sales contracts should be standardised
Buyers should have the right to inspect properties before completion
Builders should be required to provide buyers with a comprehensive information pack
There should be a review of laws governing consumer rights when purchasing new homes
DCLG should commission a thorough review of warranties
Housebuilders should instigate a new quality culture by adopting quality systems to ISO standards
The industry should significantly increase skills training programmes
A minimum standard should be set for compliance inspections
Housebuilders should make the annual customer satisfaction survey more independent to boost customer confidence
Rund Partnership has a growing team of Clerk of Works, who are seeing an increased demand for their service and expertise. Whilst predominantly commissioned in the residential sector, our team ensures a high build quality throughout the life of any scheme on which we are instructed. They monitor defects throughout the defects liability period / rectification period, only signing off the making good defects certificate once our client is satisfied that all outstanding items have been remedied. This is coordinated by our aftercare team to manage the process to a satisfactory conclusion.
The housing industry is faced with increasing the supply of new housing, alongside the need to ensure good quality homes are built. Now is the time for construction industry collectively to address issues around quality and regular quality monitoring via independent inspection is one way to address these concerns.
Our team of Clerk of Works are experienced in their field and add value to each project on which they are involved. For more information contact us on 020 7060 6221.