The new home construction industry cautiously supports a move to extend the period of structural warranties from 10/12 years to 15 years and to make warranties mandatory for all new homes in England.
Yet LABC Warranty’s industry survey, believed to be the first to delve into this little-discussed area of the Building Safety Act, also reveals that almost two-thirds of those working in the sector are unaware of the proposals to extend the cover period.
The Building Safety Act makes provision for secondary legislation to extend new home warranties in England from 10/12 years to 15 years and make them mandatory for all new homes, with powers to impose fines for non-compliance.
LABC Warranty’s survey shows that:
• 64% of respondents were unaware of the proposal to extend the standard 10/12-year warranty term to 15 years
• 53% were unaware of a proposal to make warranty cover a legal requirement for all new homes
• 60% of respondents are in favour of extending warranties from 10/12 years to 15 years
• 58% believe mandating warranties would lead to better standards or safety, or improved customer satisfaction
Overall, 40% believed there would be positive outcome if all warranty-related secondary legislation came into force, 23% believed it would lead to a negative outcome, and 37% believed it would lead to a mixed result.
Only 5% of respondents said they had prepared for the secondary legislation to be enacted.
Reasons in support of longer warranty periods included improved standards (46%), better protection for homeowners (41%) and alignment with the Defective Premises Act liability period (10%). Lack of need (56%) and increased cost (37%) were the main reasons for those against.
Building control practitioners were most in support of the extended term (92%) while housebuilders/developers were most against (67%).
LABC Warranty comment: “Even respondents who offered a broadly positive outlook had reservations about potential negative effects of the legislative changes discussed. Given this and the strength of feeling shown through comments, LABC Warranty would describe the response as a very cautious optimism while we await more details on any upcoming secondary legislation.”
View Cautious Optimism: The Housing Industry Reacts to Potential 15-Year Warranties PDF