Property Disputes: Defects

The pandemic has seen struggle and shortages across all sectors, however, one sector in particular which has been notably affected is construction. It is well known that the pandemic has caused problems in respect of the availability of many building materials across the country, which has put into jeopardy the ability to complete on many homes.

The problem

With the aftermath of the pandemic continuing, and shortages of materials, developers are under pressure to complete on properties by their buyers, and likewise after 18 months of uncertainty, and in some cases inability to carry on with developments, this may lead to possible future problems arising in respect of the finish and standard of properties.

If contractors are under pressure to complete on a property, a rushed job is likely to result in substandard workmanship leading to problems and snagging which need to be rectified.

Under the terms of the ten-year warranty that usually accompanies new build properties, developers are obliged to remedy defects reported to them within the first two years.  

But what happens if after a number of attempts to resolve any outstanding snagging issues with the Developer, nothing is done, or nothing appears to be being done in a timely manner. Where does that leave the buyer? Living in a brand-new property with numerous snagging issues, some potentially quite serious, with no resolution in sight?

In many instances opening a line of communication and negotiation with a developer will result in an amicable resolution whereby either defects are remedied, or monetary equivalent paid to carry out the repairs yourself, putting you in the position you should have been in on completion of the purchase.

Resolving property disputes

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If negotiations fail or you consider the resolutions proposed by the developer are not adequate, then Cohen Cramer Solicitors can assist in trying to reach a resolution between you both.

If we are unable to reach an amicable settlement, then we can assist in taking steps to issue formal court proceedings against the developer. Depending on the losses incurred, these proceedings could be allocated to the Small Claims (losses less than £10,000), Fast Track (losses more than £10,000) or in more substantial cases Multi Track (losses more than £200,000). In order to determine the value of your claim, and depending on the value of the claim, it may be necessary to obtain an expert report compliant with the Civil Procedure Rules in order to establish the value of the claim before the Court.

In what can undoubtedly be a stressful and long road to remedying defects with your new home, Cohen Cramer can provide advice and guide you through the process to obtain a remedy to put right the wrongs cause by your developer.

How we can help

For further advice with building disputes or problems with new build properties, please contact James Colvin at or call 0113 224 7805.

James Colvin: November 2021