Problems with the NHBC Warranty

Independent Building Surveyors

nhbcWe are Independent Building Surveyors with many, many years of surveying experience of all types of property, from houses to commercial warehouses, shops and public houses.  We survey all types of property, be it old or new and have dealt with many NHBC problems over the years.

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NHBC Warranty, general misunderstanding

nhbcWe have recently been involved in a case where there have been problems with the NHBC Warranty.  This is because of the general misconception by most people of what the NHBC Warranty is.

Firstly, many people think that the NHBC offer a guarantee over ten years for anything that goes wrong on a new property. This is not correct.

As we understand it, the NHBC will gladly inform you if you call them (and we have done).  In the first two years the responsibility is with the builder that built the property, although the NHBC will offer a mediation service (more about this later on) and in the third to tenth year the NHBC will offer a warranty only on the structural elements of the property.

Mediation service, is it worth it or should you just take legal action?

Let us talk further about the mediation service that the NHBC would offer.  In the instance that we were involved in there was a problem with the central heating in the house, which was not working.  The builder concerned had advised that they didn't consider it to be his problem, the plumber that had been called out to look at the property said the problem was that the pipes to the central heating had been bent very badly and had effectively been closed up, not allowing the hot water to pass into the radiators or through the system.

More unfortunately, the back part of the bend tended to be inside the wall.  The matter cost several thousand pounds to rectify and involved draining down the system, opening up some of the walls and putting new pipework in. Remember this is all on a brand new heating system.

NHBC not prepared to look at the work


We spoke to the NHBC about this and they offered their mediation service, which they explained does not relate to our consumer rights but relates to the builder building to the build mark.  We asked them whether they were prepared to come out and see the work and they advised that they would not at this stage.  This unfortunately meant that they were only prepared to talk about the matter whilst the home owner was left with the heating not working.

The decision was therefore made to carry out the plumbing repair and of course once the plumbing repairs had happened neither the builder nor the NHBC were happy to get involved as they advised that they needed to see the building before any work was carried out.

Is the NHBC Warranty worth the paper it's written on?

We would ask, is the NHBC Warranty worth the paper it's written on?  We will let you make up your mind on that!  We would also refer you to the recent Which? article on the NHBC Warranty, which comes to a similar conclusion.

Our Surveying Articles

You may be interested in other articles we have written regarding buildings and repairs:

Information on Engineers Reports

Specific Defects Reports

Dampness Articles

Information and Articles about Walls Issues

Freephone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat

Please contact us for help and advice on NHBC warranties, surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters on 0800 298 5424 and a surveyor will ring you back to discuss this further.

If you have a commercial property and would like help with the dilapidations then please visit our w ebsite and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have included is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

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