The Dispute Service has been selected to operate the New Homes Ombudsman scheme, following what has been called ”a fiercely competitive tendering process.”
The New Homes Ombudsman will be independent and provide redress for purchasers of new build homes - an initiative which the government claims will deliver a step change in the quality of new build homes and the customer service provided by house builders.
The ombudsman will enforce a new housebuilding code of practice – the New Homes Quality Code - which will be published before Christmas.
The New Homes Ombudsman Service will come on line in the New Year.
Martin Partington, chair of The Dispute Service, says: “We are a not-for-profit company which has its roots in dealing with tenancy deposit disputes and in the last 14 years we have completed over 160,000 adjudications.
“In this time we have developed a range of innovative digital solutions designed to make it easier for consumers to raise complaints and for their complaint and supporting evidence to be easily uploaded into our complaints platform, which is accessible to all parties to a dispute.
“Through this we have been able to improve the transparency of our adjudication work by ensuring that all parties to a complaint can see the evidence that has been presented to us. We have also worked hard to increase the number of complaints we resolve through our mediation and conciliation work, leading to speedier outcomes for consumers”.
Since 2007 The Dispute Service has launched four tenancy deposit and dispute resolution schemes across the UK, developed two mediation and conciliation services, created two charitable organisations and provided a wide range of information and advice to consumers and businesses.
Partington continues: ”We know that there are issues in the new homes industry and we are excited by the opportunity to build a robust and independent redress service for consumers to address their legitimate complaints. We are also committed to working closely with the New Homes Quality Board and the industry to roll out the New Homes Quality Code and to play a key part in helping to raise standards in the new build industry across the UK.
“We are hoping to launch the new service in the early part of 2022 and we will be making further announcements over the coming months to ensure that the industry has time to prepare for the launch of our new service.”
A statement from the New Homes Quality Board says The Dispute Service beat off tough competition in a six-month tender process.
The Ombudsman designate will be Alison MacDougall, who is currently group director of resolution at The Dispute Service where she heads up the team of adjudicators and resolution executives dealing with disputes between landlords and tenants.