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Homeowners show appetite for “snagging retention”: HOA

Almost 9 in 10 of new build homeowners support ‘snagging retention’, a system whereby funds are withheld from builders if housing quality is not deemed up to scratch.

The figure comes from a national survey conducted by the HomeOwners Alliance and BLP Insurance, using a poll carried out by YouGov. The news also comes after the announcement that Persimmon Homes has introduced a snagging retention clause at 1.5 per cent.

The survey, which covered over 2,000 UK adults, details that 54 per cent of respondents had their warranty explains and 57 per cent agreed that the warrant was sufficient for righting structural issues and resolving disputes.

It also found that 20 per cent of new build homeowners felt “under pressure” during the sales process.

HomeOwners Alliance is spearheading a campaign for the introduction of snagging retention on a mandatory basis. The mechanism would see 2.5 per cent of the payment to a house builder held back until the homeowner was satisfied with the quality of the building.

The campaign comes after a report by the New Homes Review which found that 91 per cent of new homes had snags and defects, and a report by the Home Builders Federation on the rising number of people stating they would never buy from the same builder again.

It also follows a large number of complaints about builders who have failed to fix defects with the house.

BLP Insurance chief executive Kim Vernau comments: “Housebuilders should take careful note of the 88 per cent 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?”

Homeowners Alliance chief executive Paula Higgins adds: “More and more buyers of new build homes are being left with an unacceptable litany of ‘snags’ and defects.

“In the government’s drive to build more homes quality has been compromised in the quest for quantity.

“Persimmon have taken a step in the right direction but let’s hope it is not a PR exercise.

“They have only agreed to put right snags identified the day people move in – not emerging snags.

“Expecting new build homebuyers to inspect and produce a snagging list the day they move into their home is setting them up to fail.”

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