The National House Building Council (NHBC) is forcing new home owners to sign gagging orders following successful poor build compensation claims about the state of their homes.
According to The Guardian, the NHBC, which regulates new home builds, has issued non-disclosure agreements which restrict disgruntled homeowners from contacting the media about any problems with their properties. Claimants are being forced to sign the non-disclosure agreements, which also stop claimants from talking to neighbours in their development, after succeeding in a claim over the quality of a home.
An industry source told The Guardian that one family they were working with had received an offer from NHBC to buy back their troublesome new home and pay their removal costs as long as they did not disclose the agreement. The source also revealed that other people have told them about their problems with their new homes but then gone quiet.
The Guardian quoted Paula Higgins, chief executive of the Homeowners Alliance, who said: “Gagging orders are unfair. NHBC are acting as if they have something to hide. As guardians of quality of new homes in Britain they should operate openly and transparently rather than resorting to desperate measures.
“Silencing those who have a reason to complain will make it more likely to push down standards in the industry rather than pushing them up.”
An NHBC spokesperson told the newspaper that it included a confidentiality clause in a “small number of rare circumstances”, but did not disclose the number.