Under the Code, home buyers can raise a claim using the Code’s Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme (IDRS) if they believe their home builder has breached the Code. With the average small claims case now taking approximately 52* weeks to resolve through the courts, the IDRS provides a faster, more accessible option for home buyers and builders alike.
The Code’s IDRS is run by CEDR Ltd. CEDR Ltd is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute as the ‘competent authority’ acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for dealing with disputes that are raised with the builder from the Reservation date until two years after the date of legal completion.
Claims can be raised through our IDRS where a home buyer believes their builder has failed to meet the Code’s requirements and their complaint falls outside their home warranty body’s resolution scheme for defects or damage.
Some Code requirements and the maximum amount buyers can claim differ depending on when they reserved their home:
Stages of an IDRS Claim
- A claim starts when a buyer completes an application form and sends it to the Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme with their statement of evidence. Their statement must contain all the information relevant to their complaint and where possible, identify the Consumer Code requirement(s) they allege has/have been breached. They must also provide copies of receipts or other evidence of expenditure if making a financial claim.
- The Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme will invite the builder to respond to the buyer’s statement. At this stage the builder may resolve the complaint without a formal adjudication – this is called ‘early settlement’ and will reduce the case fee for the builder.
- If early settlement does not happen, the builder must submit your response to the Adjudicator along with their case fee payment. The buyer will be given a copy of the builder’s response and asked to respond if they wish.
Have a look at previous cases and Adjudication Summaries
- The Adjudicator will consider both submissions and decide whether or not the builder has failed to comply with the Code and whether the buyer has suffered financial loss as a result. Both parties will be expected to have acted reasonably and to have controlled their costs.
- The Adjudicator will make a proposed decision and send it to both parties. The decision may be a performance award (where the builder may be instructed to do something) or a financial award (where the builder has to pay you some money as determined by the Adjudicator) or a combination of the two. Both parties are invited to notify the Adjudicator of any inaccuracies or provide missing information before a final decision is made.
- The Adjudicator may make a discretionary award for inconvenience. They will do so if, in their sole consideration and opinion, the buyer have been caused inconvenience as a result of the complaint and/or how you handled it. Buyers may not receive an award for inconvenience alone if the Adjudicator does not find a breach of the Code.
- The Adjudicator’s decision cannot be appealed; it can only be accepted or rejected by the buyer.
- Under the rules of registration, the Home Warranty Bodies require each registered builder to honour any award made against them under the IDRS.
- If the Adjudicator makes a financial award and the buyer unconditionally accepts it in writing, the Adjudicator must notify the builder of this in writing. The builder must pay the award to the buyer within 20 working days of the date of the Adjudicator’s written notification.
- If the buyer does not unconditionally accept the award, any subsequent legal action you may take instead is likely to take account of the adjudication decision.
- The builder remains liable for an award, even if they are removed from a Home Warranty Body’s register.
Please Note: This Code’s Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme is independent of the Home Warranty Bodies. Adjudication decisions made under the Scheme are not insured under the Home Warranty Bodies’ Home Warranty Schemes.