New Build property defects
Newly built properties normally carry a defect liability period with the builder for a year following handover of the property to L&Q. This means that the builder is obliged to return and repair a variety of different faults in the property should they occur.
Definition of a defect
A defect is a fault in the workmanship in the construction of a new build property, or a fault in the installation or manufacture of items of equipment which form part of the construction.
The most common faults that occur are leaks from waste pipes, heating or hot water problems, non flushing toilets (this does not include blockages which would be the residents responsibility). There might be a problem with the signal from a communal aerial, doors that don't close properly, faults with extractor fans or light and electrical fittings.
Reporting a defect
If you discover a defect with your property please contact Homeowner Services to report the problem. The After Sales and Defects Team will then report this directly to the builder who will arrange for the defect to be remedied. The builder will carry out repair to the defect, not L&Q.
The builder has resolution timescales from 24 hours for emergency defect up to 20 working days for less pressing issues.
The end of the defects liability period
The defects liability period of one year begins from the date that the development / property is passed from our Sales Team to L&Q's After Sales and Defects team. (please note that it does not start on the day that you move in!)
Just before the expiry of the defects liability period you will receive notification of a defects inspection appointment. A representative from either the builders or the employers agency will visit you at home and note down any faults that you may have with the property and arrange to get these rectified (subject to confirmation that the fault is covered by the builder under the contract).
Any faults that occur in your home after the defect liability period or not noted at the end of the defects inspection will fall to the owner to rectify as in effect the guarantee has expired. Please note that if your property does not have a defect liability period you will not have an inspection and as such the property is bought as seen.
What does my 10 year guarantee cover?
Most new build properties are covered by a guarantee provided by an external company such as NHBC. This generally provides cover for large items that may fail or major latent defects in the property such as subsidence. You should receive a copy of your certificate from your solicitor upon completion. Please retain this in a safe place as you will need it when you sell your property.
To ensure that your boiler is covered by any warranty such as NHBC for a second year you must have this serviced by a certified Gas Safe engineer. You should aim to do this before your defect liability period expires and should retain the safety certificate for future reference.
Important things to remember
- Your defect period lasts a year from the handover from the builder to L&Q, not a year after you buy the property.
- If you find a defect in the defect liability period, you should contact L&Q Homeowner services team.
- The builder will carry out the repair to the defect, not L&Q.
- The end of the defect inspection is your final chance to get the builder to rectify any issues. You must attend the inspection of your property and ensure that everything you mention is noted down. Do not sign off the inspection sheet until you are happy it includes everything you have mentioned.
- If the defect is not on the final inspection sheet the builder will not remedy it and you will be liable for rectifying it.
- Ensure your boiler is serviced before the defect period expires and then annually to ensure it continues to operate safely.