The Code covers every stage of the home-buying process – pre-contract, exchange of contract and during occupation.

Three Stages of the Code

Stage 1 – Helping buyers pre-purchase

In the first of three videos looking at the different ways the Consumer Code for Home Builders supports buyers of new-build homes, we look at what help is available in the early stages of considering a new home.


As a home buyer you should be given enough pre-purchase information to help you make a suitably informed purchasing decision.

In all cases this information must include:

  • a written reservation agreement including the reservation fee; what is being sold; the purchase price; how and when the Reservation agreement will end and how long the price remains valid;
  • an explanation of the home warranty cover;
  • a description of any management services and organisations to which you as the Home Buyer will be committed and an estimate of their cost;
  • the nature and method of assessment of any event fees such as transfer fees or similar liabilities.

If your home is not yet completed (for example when buying off plan), the information must include:

  • a brochure or plan illustrating the general layout, appearance and plot position of the home;
  • a list of the home’s contents;
  • the standards to which the home is being built.

Stage 2 – Helping buyers during purchase

Exchanging contracts is an exciting time but can be daunting. In the second of three videos covering how the Code helps home buyers, we focus on the additional protection offered by the Code as you exchange contracts.

Exchange of Contract

The home builder must provide you with a contract which is clear and fair, complies with all relevant legislation and clearly explains your contract termination rights.

The Code also states that you must be given reliable and realistic information about when construction of your home may be finished, the date of legal completion, and the date for handover of your home.

If an unreasonable delay occurs in completing the home, you have the right not to go ahead with the purchase and have your Reservation fee returned without deductions.

Your home builder must clearly explain how contract deposits are protected and how any other pre-payments are dealt with.

Stage 3 – Helping buyers after occupation

You’ve completed and moved in – what next? In the last of our three videos looking at different aspects of the Code, we highlight the support you can expect after you’ve moved in, including after-sales care and complaints handling.

During occupation

Home builders must provide an accessible after-sales service, and explain what the service includes, who to contact, and what guarantees and warranties apply to your home.

If you move into a home where building work is still in progress on surrounding properties, you must be told about the health-and-safety precautions you should take when living on a development where building work continues.

Your home builder must have procedures for receiving, handling, and resolving service calls and complaints from you and any other purchasers.  You should be informed by your home builder about these procedures, and of the dispute resolution arrangements operated as part of the Code, in writing.

Who is covered by the Code?
How does The Code work for me?
Who's supporting The Code