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Barker Review OFT Market Study An Industry Code by 2010 or……………. Why a Code?
Requirements for dealing with customers • An independent dispute resolution service • Compliance monitoring • Financed by the Warranty Bodies • Managed by a Management Board • Advised by an Advisory Forum. What is the Code?
All new/newly converted homes bought or reserved after 1st April 2010 • Exempt • Second hand homes; • Homes acquired by registered social landlords; • Self Build homes; • Homes built under architects’ certificate or • Homes acquired by corporate bodies/partnerships for investment. What does it cover :
Pre Contract – at the point of supply or first contact; • Exchange of Contract; • Post sales relationship When does it apply
Consumers must be - • Treated fairly; • Made aware of what service levels they can expect; • Given reasonable information to inform their buying decisions; • Told how to access low cost dispute resolution arrangements, if they are dissatisfied. Code Requirements – (19) Summary
How is it managed? Management Board Focus – Industry - Consumers - Stakeholders Advisory Forum Represents – Industry - Financial - Consumer Sponsors – Warranty Bodies 8
Point of Sale Requirements • Have a procedure/system in place to ensure that your company or an Estate Agent working for your company complies with the Code.
Point of Sale Requirements • Have the Code clearly displayed in your sales office, in your brochures or on your Website. 10
Point of Sale Requirements • Have copies of the Code available on site to give to customers on request and to all who reserve a new home. 11
Point of Sale Requirements • Train your sales staff or those employed by Estate Agents about their responsibilities under the Code. 12
Point of Sale Requirements • Ensure sales and advertising material is clear and truthful and compliant with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. 13
Pre Contract Information • A written reservation agreement compliant with the Code; • An explanation of the Home Warranty Cover; • A description of any management services/charges that will apply and how they will be administered. • Health & Safety Guidance • Advise buyer to seek independent legal advice 14
Pre Contract Information And : • A plan showing the layout, appearance, plot position; • A list of contents; • The standards to which it is being built; • The price and how long it is valid; • Details of any management services & costs. 15
Exchange of Contract • Ensure the contract of sale terms and conditions are; • Clear and fair; • Compliant with Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations; and • Inclusive of the contract termination rights. 16
Exchange of Contract • Ensure you inform buyers of : • Significant changes to design, size and value; • Agree in writing extra works, items and costs with cancellation and refund rights; • Advise of extra time in Building programme as a result of extra work. 17
Exchange of Contract Tell the Buyer about their right to terminate the Contract and the circumstances under which it may be terminated. 18
Exchange of Contract Make provision for protecting Buyers contract deposits and pre-payments and inform the Buyer of this. 19
Construction, Completion and Handover Give the Buyer reliable information about the date construction will be finished, legal completion and the date of handover. 20
Completion Dates Certainty should increase as work progresses • Completion of foundation and floor – which quarter; • Completion of roof – which month; • Completion of decoration and installation of services – which week. 21
After –Sales Services Provide the Buyer with an after sales contact and explain what the after sales service includes, including details of all warranties and guarantees. 22
Health and Safety Tell the Buyer of Health and Safety precautions to be taken on a development where work is continuing. 23
Complaints and Disputes Have a complaints procedure in place and let the Buyer know in writing about this, how it operates and about the Code Dispute Resolution Services. 24
Co-operation with Professional Advisors Make staff aware that they need to cooperate with professional advisers appointed by the Buyer to resolve disputes. 25
Consumer Complaints Stage 1 – The Builder Stage 2 – The Warranty Body Stage 3 – The Independent Dispute Resolution Service Reparation – up to £15K Failure to comply with IDRS findings may lead to expulsion. 26
Cases : Adjudication Findings • Failure to provide adequate pre-purchase information or misleading purchase prices; • Misrepresentation of property descriptions; • Failing to build to agreed specifications; • Breach of reservation agreement; • Non repayment of reservation fees. 27
What Next for the Code? • Improve Visibility; • Improve Compliance; • Compliance Checklist; • Develop Communications Strategy; • Incorporation • Further Review. 28
Consumer Code forHome Builders www.consumercodeforhomebuilders.com