MP Gets Action to Raise Quality of New Homes

Local MP Maria Miller has secured support from the Government to start to rid the new house building market of the current quality lottery which leaves too many new home buyers coping with major build problems after they move in.

In a debate in the House of Commons the Housing Minister agreed with Maria's proposals to make the reports compiled during the building of new houses available to the new purchaser. Those reports are already compiled but new buyers are not allowed access to them. They detail the progress of the house at key build stages and include any defects identified by the independent professional Approved Inspector. Making these reports available will also highlight how many quality checks have been made and at what stage.

Maria said, " Making available the reports compiled by Approved Inspectors will help new home buyers identify whether problems have been identified during the building of their new home. At the moment buyers face a quality lottery with major build problems going unresolved because regular checks are not mandatory and information about the build of the house is not routinely given to new buyers. Buyers would be able to see for themselves how many checks have been made, at what stage and whether any problems have been uncovered. This transparency would help drive up quality and give buyers the information they need to make informed decisions about the house they are buying."

In the debate on the Housing and Planning Bill Minister Brandon Lewis said: “My right hon. Friend Mrs Miller opened the debate with a discussion on new clause 1. I am pleased to be the first to say that it is already a requirement that starter homes should be subject to compliance with the relevant requirements of the building regulations, as are all new buildings and all major alterations to existing ones. I note that she and other Members have been raising issues to make it clear that they want to ensure that these regulations are strong enough and are abided by. 

“[Maria Miller has] raised the issue of the availability of site inspection records, which is also an important issue. As a result of her representations, we have asked the Building Control Performance Standards Advisory Group to look at making inspection records available on request to building owners and prospective owners. It will report back to us with suggested amendments in February, and I of course look forward to hearing her contribute on that.”

Maria will be looking carefully at the proposals brought forward by the Government and continuing to press for improvements in the quality of new build housing.