Scheme Frequently Asked Questions
To apply to use the Scheme, you should ask for an application form from the Home Warranty Body that issued the Home Warranty for your property (details of which can usually be found on your Reservation agreement). Please note that you may bring the claim to the Consumer Code for Home Builders’ Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme only after 56 calendar days have passed from the date of the original complaint, and no later than 12 months after the date of the Home Builder’s final response.
If your complaint is about one of the following matters, the Consumer Code for Home Builders’ Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme cannot deal with it:
- second-hand properties (for example, homes taken by Home Builders in part exchange and re-sold; • properties acquired by registered social landlords for rent;
- properties acquired by corporate bodies, partnerships and individuals buying more than one property on the same development for investment purposes;
- properties built by self-builders for their own occupation;
- Homes assigned or sub-sold by an investor to a third party before Legal Completion;
- personal injury claims;
- loss of property value or blight;
- claims about the land conveyed and its registered title;
- ‘snagging’ issues identified after completion;
- claims that exceed the Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme limits.
If the Adjudicator agrees with your complaint, they can tell the Home Builder to do any, or all, of the following:
- Give you an apology or an explanation;
- Take some practical action that will put right the matters complained of;
- Pay you up to £15,000 (including VAT) for the cost of putting right the Home Builder’s breach(es) of the Code or for the reasonable expenses you incurred as a result of the Home Builder not complying with the Code;
- Pay you up to £500 only for the inconvenience caused by the Home Builder’s breach or breaches of the Code.
The decision will be made by a trained Adjudicator with experience in dealing with the types of complaint covered by the Consumer Code for Home Builders Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme. The Adjudicator will also possess relevant legal knowledge (particularly relating to consumer matters).
The Adjudicator will take account of how much you have claimed, all of the circumstances you and the Home Builder have described in the evidence you both provided, and the evidence submitted.
When considering whether to award money for any inconvenience you may have suffered as a result of a breach of the Code, the Adjudicator will take account of the following:
- How much you have claimed in your application;
- The severity and effects of the breach or breaches of the Code;
- What the Home Builder says about your claim and how they have behaved towards you.
Please note that any amounts awarded must be in proportion to all the circumstances of the case and you may not receive an award for inconvenience alone if no breach of the Code Requirements has been found. Awards are judged as a matter of fact and on the resulting financial loss.
You and the Home Builder can settle the dispute between yourselves at any time before the matter comes to CEDR for independent adjudication. If you decide to do this, you and the Home Builder must negotiate a settlement with each other directly and not through the Consumer Code for Home Builders Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme. If you do negotiate a settlement, we need the Home Builder to let us know in writing, and we will contact you to make sure that the complaint has been settled. The Home Builder may settle claim upon receipt of the Application Form and will have to notify us of this in writing so we can proceed to close the matter as settled.
The Home Builder must tell us that they have done this. If you also tell us that they have done this, we will close the case as settled.
You do not need a solicitor but you can choose to instruct one if you want. Please note that the process for the Consumer Code for Home Builders’ Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme has been deliberately designed to be simple, swift and straightforward and you will not therefore get your costs incurred for using a solicitor reimbursed under any circumstances.
No, the Adjudicator will carry out their assessment of your case only on the basis of the written and/or photographic evidence provided by you and the Home Builder. This is why it is very important to provide all of the documents that you wish to rely upon with your application.
No, the Independent Adjudicator does not speak to either party at any stage of the process. This is to ensure they remain impartial and independent. Speaking to an adjudicator is not possible, even if certain adjustments are required as this is not part of the process.
If they need further information from either party, this will be done through the Enquiries & Administration Team.
The Adjudicator’s Proposed Decision sets out what they are minded to decide before it becomes final and allows both you and the Home Builder to comment one final time. This is only however for you and the Home Builder to clarify any points which you believe the Adjudicator may have misunderstood. You will not be able to introduce any new complaints at this stage. If you require an extension on the comments, this can be request and the adjudicator will decide whether or not to grant you an extension.
Any comments that you and/or Home Builder have on the Proposed Decision will be forwarded to the Adjudicator, who may or may not take such comments into account. The Adjudicator has the power to make any amendments they consider appropriate to the Proposed Decision before finalising it as the Decision, which is usually sent within five working days of receipt of the comments.
You will have time to review the Final Decision and let us know whether you accept or reject the Adjudicator’s final decision. If you do not tell us within six weeks, the Home Builder will not be obliged to take action in line with the decision, but you can still take the matter to court. Please note that decisions can only be accepted or rejected as they appear. You cannot accept the decision but continue to dispute the amount awarded. If you reject the decision, the case will automatically close and you are free to take the matter to another forum.
The Home Builder must act on the decision within 20 working days from the date of acceptance. If they require longer than 20 working days to comply, the Home Builder should inform the Home Buyer prior to the expiration of the 20 working days.
No, you cannot appeal the decision under any circumstances. The Adjudicator’s final decision can only be accepted or rejected by the Home Buyer. It cannot be appealed or amended.
If you are dissatisfied with the Adjudicator’s decision, you are free to reject it and pursue redress against the Home Builder through alternative means, such as the courts.
Please contact us and we will follow up with the Home Builder regarding non-compliance. Please note that as we are not an enforcement body we can only refer instances of non-compliance to the Secretariat of the Consumer Code for Home Builders.
If you want to complain about CEDR please read our Complaints Procedure document. Once you have read the Complaints Procedure and you want to submit your complaint, please use our Complaints Form, which you can download below. If you require the Complaint Form in another format, please contact the team. Please be aware that we cannot deal with any complaint about the Scheme Rules, process or adjudicator’s final decision.