Building Surveying
Apr 30, 2024

New Build Property: Snagging Inspections

Buying a new home is an exciting milestone, but it often comes with a laundry list of tasks and considerations, especially..

Buying a new home is an exciting milestone, but it often comes with a laundry list of tasks and considerations, especially when purchasing a new build property.

Poor Quality

Unfortunately, a concerning trend of poor quality control has emerged in the new build sector, even among reputed luxury brands of major housing developers. This highlights the critical importance of obtaining professional assessment and advice before finalizing a new home purchase in the form of a Schedule of Outstanding Defects, commonly known as a “snagging list”.

Snagging

A snagging list involves a thorough inspection by a surveyor to identify any remaining defects or "snags" from the construction process that need rectification. 

Issues can range from minor defects like leaky taps to more significant concerns such as doors not fitting properly in frames. While some settling of new buildings is expected post-construction, excessive defects can indicate subpar workmanship or materials.

Legals

Recent press articles have shed light on the growing prevalence of extensive snagging lists in new build properties, underscoring the need for vigilant inspection and due diligence by prospective buyers. Unlike purchases covered under consumer protection laws like the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994, property transactions are exempt from such regulations. Once a property is bought, it's owned, and there's no automatic right to return it for a refund due to defects.

However, many new build properties come with warranties, such as Buildmark provided by the National House Building Council (NHBC), which typically covers defects for the initial years post-construction. Despite these warranties, it's crucial to take proactive steps to safeguard against purchasing a home with defects and the potential challenges of rectifying them.

Warranty

It's also essential to understand the limitations of new build warranties, which often provide comprehensive coverage for developer liabilities during the initial years, but transition to insurance policies against structural defects only after that period.

Given that some defects may only become apparent over time, it's prudent to conduct a snagging inspection before the expiration of the initial warranty period. A professional report can serve as invaluable documentation when dealing with developers and ensure that issues are addressed satisfactorily, without being brushed aside.

Recommendations

We recommend commissioning a snagging list specifically for new build properties, as conventional reports like Homebuyer reports or Building Surveys may not capture all relevant issues. 

Whether you're purchasing a new build property or approaching the end of your warranty period for an existing property, we are here to assist with comprehensive snagging inspections and detailed reports.

Our goal is to help you navigate the complexities of property purchases and ensure that your investment is free from significant defects and issues. Reach out to us for expert advice and assistance in safeguarding your new home purchase.