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New consumer rights guide for new home buyers

Posted on 20/11/2018


King’s College London has partnered with The HomeOwners Alliance, Britain’s only consumer group for homeowners, to publish the first consumer rights guide for new home buyers.

The 28-page guide ‘Buying a new home: your rights explained’ was recently published by King’s College London and the HomeOwners Alliance to clearly explain the process of buying a new home, the rights of buyers, how to complain when things go wrong, how to resolve disputes with developers, and how to claim in the warranty.

The guide, for first buyers of an off-plan new home from a developer, aims to help homeowners get the most out of their new build homes. It covers a range of different scenarios, from the buying process to after-sales. Among these scenarios are managing repair of defects in newly built blocks of flats and the rights of second buyers of a newly built home. Its launch comes following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s commitment to building 300,000 new homes per year in last month’s Budget.

The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London also offers the King’s Legal Clinic, a service offering free legal advice to the public from students studying law. Under the supervision of a qualified lawyer, students working at the clinic interview clients, analyse their problem, research the issues and send them a written letter of advice.

Philip Britton from the Centre for Construction Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London, said: ‘We have produced this guide to help new homebuyers understand their rights. New homebuyers often find out that they have less protection than they thought. Buying a new home is a legal minefield, and it can be difficult for homebuyers to know where to turn. As part of our service to society, the School also offers the King’s Legal Clinic, a free service offering legal advice to the public.’

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance added: ‘The new build sector is fraught with issues from complicated contracts and unfair leasehold agreements to poor quality work and restrictive covenants. Many buyers don’t know what their rights are. This guide will answer all of their questions in a clear and concise way and is a must-read for all new build buyers.’

Kim Vernau, CEO, BLP Insurance, said: ‘The complexity of the new build sales process requires clarification and transparency for the new home purchasers who are required to navigate it. This guide provides straightforward and practical advice to enable homebuyers to unravel a complex web of legal requirements. BLP fully endorse and support any such initiative to support homebuyers through the single most expensive purchase they will ever make.’

The guide can be downloaded from the HOA website at:

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

For further information please contact the Public Relations Department at King’s College London on 020 7848 3202 or

For enquiries regarding The HomeOwners Alliance, please contact Christine Toner,

About King’s College London 

King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2017/18 QS World University Rankings) and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 29,600 students (of whom nearly 11,700 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 8,000 staff. 

For more information, see our King’s in Brief pages.

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About HomeOwners Alliance

The HomeOwners Alliance champions the interests of Britain’s homeowners and aspiring homeowners. We are a consumer group providing helpful advice and services and acting as the voice of the homeowner in the media, lobbying for their interests in government, and campaigning against bad practices in industry.

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