The housing ombudsman and its consumer protection challenge


Critics say the new ‘independent’ regulator is anything but, and has been set up to repeat mistakes of the past. Joey Gardiner talks to key players to find out what is at stake

Earlier this month, to great fanfare, an “independent” body – the New Homes Quality Board – was launched, creating the New Housing Ombudsman Service for home buyers. The new regulator, endorsed in the press release by no less than housing secretary Robert Jenrick, is to be designed, so the announcement said, to “champion new homes quality and consumer redress”.

The setting up of the board, chaired by former lawyer, housing expert and now Tory MP Natalie Elphicke, follows a series of very public scandals over the quality of new home building in the UK involving major listed firms including Persimmon and Bovis (now Vistry). These led to widespread calls for the government to ensure more protection for consumers in what is often the biggest purchase of their lifetimes.

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