Donation

Claiming Compensation

Making a claim for compensation

Using the Consumer Code for Home Builders Adjudication Scheme (CCHBAS)


The most important consideration at this stage is do not  give up!

You are reading this because a house builder has failed in some respect to adhere to reasonable consumer requirements and standards and may have even broken Consumer Protection Regulations. As a result you may have suffered materially, financially or emotionally.


Before submitting your claim, it would be beneficial to obtain copies of all the information your house builder has in their 'Plot File' that relates to both you and your home. You have a legal right to this information under the Data Protection Act 1998. In order to receive all this information you need to make a formal Subject Access Request to the house builder. It is quite easy using the template letter here.


You need to be aware there are several ways that you can slip up and you must make sure you follow all the "rules" as outlined. Any mistake may result in your case being ruled against because you may have failed in one way or another during the Dispute Resolution process..


Before submitting a claim, it is useful to read the historic case summaries as these will show you why some buyers did not win their case against the home builder and why part of their claim was rejected:

Case Summaries to December 2013

Case Summaries to December 2014

Case Summaries to December 2015

Case Summaries to December 2016

You will be required to sign the Application Form to confirm that you understand the Consumer Code for Home Builders' Adjudication Scheme (CCHBAS) and that you have tried to settle the using the house builder's own complaints procedure.







You cannot use the CCHBAS Scheme if you have previously referred this dispute to the Courts or another redress scheme.


Home buyer's checklist before submitting the Application Form:

  1. To use the Consumer Code for Home Builders' Adjudication Scheme (CCHBAS), you need to have reached deadlock with the home builder having used and exhausted the home builder’s own complaints procedure or reached a point where the home builder invites you to use the Adjudication Scheme.
  2. The Home Warranty body must be informed and refer you to the CCHBAS and provide the application form. The NHBC contact: claimscc@nhbc.co.uk Telephone: 0844 6331000
  3. The housebuilder must be registered with one of these home warranty bodies: NHBC, LABC or Premier Guarantee.
  4. The home builder must have breached one or more requirements of the Consumer Code Requirements and Good Practice Guidance for Home Builders
  5. You must state which Code requirements have been breached by the housebuilder. This is "to avoid generalised complaints which may have little or no specific relevance to the Code."
  6. You cannot make a claim until 56 days have passed since first raising it with the housebuilder and no later than 12 months after the housebuilder's final response to the original complaint.
  7. Your complaint must also be made within the first two years from the start of the new home warranty cover.
  8. You must be able to demonstrate and prove, that you have been disadvantaged or suffered financial loss as a consequence of (4)
  9. The maximum total claim allowed is £15,000. It has never been awarded. The highest awards (at 30 Dec 2016) being  case 117140037 November 2014, awarded £14,750 and case 117150005 April 2015, awarded £11,210.
  10. Be sure to include the maximum £500 allowed for "inconvenience" anyway. The Code says you cannot claim this, but it will give you an opportunity to justify an award for inconvenience and remind the adjudicator that he has an option to award it.  Also be sure to include the IDRS case fee of £120 as part of your claim. You should also include professional fees, postage and any other associated costs such as copying.
  11. You must supply full details of the events that caused the dispute, the nature and grounds of your claim and evidence supporting your claim, receipts, photographs, audio recordings, copies of contracts, technical reports, surveys and signed witness statements and any builder's forms.
  12. The Application Form must be "properly completed."
  13. If the home builder asks you to pay back any amount it has previously paid to settle the matter, you must do so before sending the Application Form.
  14. Send your Application Form and copies of all supporting evidence by Recorded (signed for) Delivery.


Consumer Code for New Homes

It should be noted, that, complaints with other warranty providers can only be made using a different and separately operated Code – the Consumer Code for New Homes (CCNH). It has higher awards (£50,000 and maximum awards for emotional distress and/or claims for inconvenience of £1,000) but is unfortunately, not available for new homebuyers with NHBC, LABC or Premier Guarantee warranties.


What you can claim

Up to the maximum of £15,000 what you claim should be to cover the cost of addressing the matters you are complaining about and your reasonably incurred expenses. You will need to provide evidence [see (10)] to support and justify all the amounts claimed. Once you have made a claim you cannot change any amounts at a later date. You can try to claim compensation, but you must be able to provide evidence to substantiate any amounts claimed. Both parties must pay the costs of preparing their own cases and cannot take legal action to recover these costs.


If you are successful the adjudicator can award any amount up to the total figure you claim. Experience of cases so far would indicate that you are better off listing each amount separately and then totalling. In 2016, the average amount awarded in the 57 successful cases was only 15% of the amount claimed.


Accepting the adjudicator's decision

You will have six weeks to accept the adjudicator's decision. Once you accept the award decision, in writing, the housebuilder must pay the award in full, within 20 working days of the adjudicator’s notification.


If you do not accept it, the decision will not be binding on either party. You cannot accept the decision after the six-week deadline. Decisions are not open to review, discussion or appeal. If you do not accept the decision you can then instigate legal proceedings against the house builder. The Consumer Code states "If a Home Buyer refuses to accept the award, any subsequent legal action is likely to take account of the adjudication decision". Yet disclosure of the decision and findings would surely breach the confidentiality requirement!


Confidentiality

Details of the Adjudication Scheme proceedings must be kept confidential by all parties and cannot be disclosed to anyone not directly involved in them. The only exceptions are professional and legal advisors for the purposes of enforcing the decision or as required by law. However this would also infer that the house builder should not make reference to your claim or the Adjudicator's decision, if you choose to reject it and go to court.


Return to Top

Consumer Code 4th Edition with Builder Guidance