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New Build Conveyancing and the NHBC warranty


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What you need to know about New Build Conveyancing

If you are buying new build property your conveyancing lawyer should raise specific enquires asked on the fat that the property is a new build. For this reason, it would prudent to appoint a conveyancing lawyer or property solicitor familiar with new build conveyancing. For example conveyancing enquiries raised in new build conveyancing transaction please see New Build Conveyancing

One of the most obvious new build conveyancing questions to ask is whether the new build property will be covered by a new build home warranty such as NHBC. The buyers property solicitor should check with NHBC that the developer/seller offering NHBC Buildmark cover is an NHBC registered builder or NHBC developer.

If the developer/seller is not an NHBC registered builder or NHBC developer, the buyer’s property solicitor or conveyancer will need to check with NHBC that arrangements have been made to provide NHBC Buildmark cover on an ‘unregistered developer/seller’ basis.   If such arrangements have been made, NHBC will issue the Buildmark documents in the name of the builder, with an endorsement to the effect that NHBC authorises the builder to offer NHBC Buildmark cover even though the developer/seller of the house or flat is not NHBC registered.

If the developer/seller is not NHBC registered, the exchange deposit and any other payments, such as a reservation deposit, made under the conveyancing contract will not be protected by NHBC if the registered builder becomes insolvent after exchange of contracts.   Therefore, if the developer/seller is not registered at NHBC the buyer’s property solicitor may wish to give further consideration to the issue of protection of the buyer’s deposit (for example by requesting that the deposit be held by the developer/seller’s property solicitor as stakeholder ( held in escrow ) and not as agent – i.e. not released to the developer/seller).

If the purchaser’s property solicitor or conveyancer specialises in new build conveyancing he or she will check that the contract for the sale or construction of the home provides for the home to have the benefit of NHBC Buildmark cover.
Before exchange of contracts/conclusion of missives, the purchaser’s property solicitor should check that the builder or developer offering NHBC Buildmark cover is registered with NHBC. If the builder or developer has left NHBC’s Register after a home has been registered for cover but before exchange of contracts, NHBC may not provide cover.

After exchange of contracts the new build conveyancing lawyer for the buyer will ensure that they receive the NHBC pack containing the Buildmark documents from the NHBC registered builder or developer.

The NHBC Acceptance Form should be returned to NHBC promptly.   The Acceptance Form contains vital information that is needed to enable NHBC to issue a Buildmark Insurance Certificate and until the Acceptance Form is returned, NHBC will not issue a Buildmark Insurance Certificate.   The buyer will need this to pass on to any future purchaser during future new build conveyancing on a sale, together with the Buildmark Booklet.   In the event of a claim NHBC will not be able to progress matters until an NHBC Acceptance Form has been returned to NHBC.

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