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NHBC Warranty and What It Covers

Adele MacGregor

Written by

23rd May 2023 (Last updated on 8th Aug 2023) 5 minute read

The National House-Building Council (NHBC) Buildmark Warranty is a new home warranty. This provides protection for owners of new-build homes.

The policy provides a builder warranty and a period of insurance against certain problems and building defects. It also protects new home buyers against the loss of their deposit. The policy covers newly built and converted homes registered with NHBC as of 1 April 2022.

Below we look at what the NHBC covers, how long it lasts and other advice when it comes to issues in new build homes.

  1. What Does the NHBC Warranty Cover?
  2. What Doesn’t It Cover?
  3. How Long Does the NHBC Warranty Last?
  4. Are NHBC Warranties Transferable?
  5. Are There Other New Home Warranties?
  6. How Does a Snagging Survey Help?
  7. What Happens If I Find a Snag?
  8. What to Do if the Builder Disputes?
  9. Find a Snagging Surveyor with Compare My Move

What Does the NHBC Warranty Cover?

The warranty protects owners against problems resulting from builders becoming insolvent. It also protects against builders failing to meet the NHBC requirements.

It will cover buyers for:

Pre-completion: Insurance protection if, due to the builder's insolvency, you lose your deposit or the builder does not complete the home.

Initial two year period: This is the builder warranty period. The builder must repair defects that do not comply with NHBC’s technical requirements.

Years three to ten: In this time, cover is for damage caused to specified parts of the property. In this case, it would be where the builder did not comply with NHBC's Technical Requirements. Parts of the property that are typically covered include:

  • Roofs
  • Flues and chimneys
  • External walls to the property
  • Internal Stairs
  • Glazing (for example, on windows)
  • Foundations

    Your policy documents will set out exactly what is covered. They will include any conditions, limits and exclusions that apply. For a new build property, the total amount the NHBC will pay for all claims is the original purchase price up to £1,000,000.

    NHBC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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    What Doesn’t It Cover?

    There are some things that are not covered by the warranty which include but are not limited to:

    • Wear and tear throughout the home
    • Neglect of the home and/or grounds
    • Damage caused by fire or smoke.
    • Items or incidents which are covered by other insurances (such as buildings or contents insurance)
    • Items or incidents covered by warranties for domestic appliances or boiler

    Additionally, in years three to ten of the policy, parts of the home are not covered. These could include plumbing, electrics and gardens.

    Keep in mind that the other caveat is that the minimum claim value must be met. If the claim value is lower than the minimum value then the claim will be declined.

    How Long Does the NHBC Warranty Last?

    Typically, an NHBC policy lasts 10 years. If you are the first owner of the home, Buildmark gives you protection from the exchange of contracts. If you sell the home during this time, the remaining cover passes to the new owner.

    Be sure to check your documents to see how long your policy lasts and when it runs out, as policy lengths may differ.

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    Are NHBC Warranties Transferable?

    According to the NHBC website, Buildmark is fully transferable during the policy's lifespan. If you decide to sell the home and the Buildmark policy has not expired, it will stay with the home.

    The new owner will benefit from the remaining cover until it expires. Keep in mind that this is subject to deductions for any prior claims.

    Are There Other New Home Warranties?

    The NHBC warranty is one of the three most well-known providers of new home warranties. The other two are the Local Authority Building Control Warranty (LABC) and Premier Guarantee. These all operate under the Consumer Code for Home Builders.

    From October 2022, big home developers register developments with the New Homes Quality Code. Barratt, Redrow and Taylor Wimpy are among the developers who do so.

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    How Does a Snagging Survey Help?

    A Snagging Survey is recommended as it can flag issues before you move into the home. A professional snagging survey will provide a list of “snags” to be passed on to the developer. This way any problems can be rectified by the house builder, without you having to claim on your warranty.

    Snagging identifies issues in a newly built home once the building is complete. It is essentially a property survey for a new build.

    These can range from small defects to major faults. Typical smaller issues include:

    • Cracked tiles
    • Loose door hinges
    • Unfinished decor

    Smaller issues and other common problems with new build homes can often easily be rectified by the builder.

    Larger issues, however, could be structural problems or issues with the external brickwork. A snagging survey can prepare you for these and ensure you don’t move into a home with problems.

    What Happens If I Find a Snag?

    If a snag is found in your home, you should contact the home builder as soon as possible

    If you haven’t moved in yet, it will be easier to get them to rectify the issue before you start living in the home. Once you move in, they could argue that they are not responsible for the snag. For example, citing wear and tear.

    When you have an NHBC Buildmark policy in place, the builder must repair any defects that don’t comply with NHBC’s technical requirements. This is within the first two years and is known as the “builder warranty period”.

    Be sure to keep your cover policy and warranty documentation in a safe place in the event of a claim.

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    What to Do if the Builder Disputes?

    In the event the house builder disputes your snag claim, you do have options. As we’ve said above, the home must comply with NHBC’s technical requirements. If it doesn’t, they are required to repair the issue.

    If the homebuilder does not respond or agree with your claims, the NHBC can help settle the matter. They can take you through their dispute resolution service.

    Having a professional snagging survey will be of benefit in this case. A report from an expert in the field will provide solid evidence to back up any claims. You can also contact the New Homes Ombudsman. As a final resort, you can consider pursuing legal proceedings against the home builder.

    Find a Snagging Surveyor with Compare My Move

    One of the best ways to get a snagging survey is by comparing surveyors with Compare My Move. Our dedicated team take on the best in the business, ensuring they are qualified and reliable.

    We can connect you with up to 6 of the best snagging surveyors in your local area. They can assist with your new build property, providing a thorough snagging inspection.

    Adele MacGregor

    Having worked at Compare My Move for over four years, Adele covers topics such as the conveyancing process across the UK, property surveys, home moves and storage.

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