Negligence Claims Against Builders & Developers

When construction work is carried out it is important for the workers to avoid negligence. Construction defects such as electrical faults as well as plumbing and boiler issues can put the lives of the homeowners at risk.


Why Claims Against Developers & Builders Matter

Claims against builders and developers can be actioned by businesses and individuals for a variety of reasons such as delays, defects, or even financial disputes. Claims against negligent builders can be important for ensuring the safety of the building’s occupants as construction defects create the risk of injury and even death in some extreme cases.

The importance of holding negligent developers accountable can help ensure;

  • Quality Assurance
  • Financial implications
  • Accountability
  • Consumer Protection
  • Contractual Integrity
  •  And More!

Understanding Developers’ Warranties

Developer warranties are insurance policies taken out by the builder or developer against newly built properties to protect the buyer. Developers’ warranties typically last for 10 years and are split across 2 periods; the defects insurance period and the structural insurance period.

The First Two Years: What's Covered?

The first 2 years of a developer’s warranty are known as the defects insurance period. During this period, if you experience issues with the building as a result of the work that the builders completed, such as leaky windows or broken heating due to faulty pipe work, the builders are obligated to fix them.

Years 3-10: The Insurance-Backed Warranty

For the remaining 8 years of a developer’s warranty following the defects insurance period is known as the structural insurance period. During this period of time, the builder is only responsible for major issues concerning the structure of the building. This includes the foundation, roofs and ceilings, external rendering, chimneys, and load bearing areas of the building.

Any smaller defects, such as non-structural defects, are now the responsibility of the owner. This includes problems with gutters or fixtures as well as any aforementioned defects such as faulty pipework or windows letting in rain water.


Delays & Property Handover

Delays and property handovers can also be a viable reason to make a claim against a builder or developer.

Legal Completion Dates

The legal completion date is when the buyer receives the keys to the property from the builder or developer. Delays in this process could be cause for claim on behalf of the buyer for any damages. This type of claim is only valid for non-excusable delays, this excludes delays caused by design errors, owner initiated changes, unanticipated weather, and acts of God.

Disputes with Your Developer

If you find yourself in a dispute with a builder or developer it is advisable to seek legal advice for advancing the claim. Speaking with a solicitor can provide you with insight into whether or not you have a viable claim as well as provide advice on the best steps to take.

Formal Complaints Process

If resolving the issue amicably hasn’t worked, you may want to file a formal complaint. To do this, you should ask the builder or developer for their company’s complaints procedure. If they don’t have a complaints procedure, find out if they are a member of a trade association that you can use.

To use any resolution scheme, you’ll have to show that you have tried to resolve the issue with the trader first. However, if the builder has a complaints procedure in place, you will have to provide evidence that you’ve used it and the process has come to a deadlock.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Schemes

While traders are not required to be part of an ADR scheme, they must point you in the direction of one. There are a number of different types of ADR, these types are:

  • Mediation – mediation services can help you and the builder or developer reach an amicable solution in the presence of an unbiased third party who can talk you through the issues.
  • Arbitration – arbitration will involve an expert in the field who will examine evidence from both you and the trader. The decision of an arbiter can be legally binding and will remove the option of court proceedings if you don’t like the decision.
  • Ombudsman services – ombudsman services are free for consumers but not for traders. Similarly to an arbiter, the ombudsman’s decision can be binding but only on the trader, although if the decision is not liked then the claim can still be taken to court.


How Lovedays Solicitors Can Help

Lovedays Solicitors has been acting for clients in the Derbyshire area since 1905. We have an extensive history and an in-depth knowledge of the dispute resolution and claims processes.

Our dispute resolution and claim solicitors have an in-depth and intimate understanding of builder and developer claims. Our specialist Lawyers can ensure that the advice given is tailored to you, your situation and your needs.

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Get Support Today

If you believe that you have a claim against contractors you hired to complete work it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a legal professional before taking matters further. Contact our solicitors today on 01629 56660 or make a Free Online Enquiry!

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About Lovedays

Lovedays Solicitors, Potter and Co Solicitors and Andrew Macbeth Cash and Co Solicitors are the trading names of Derbyshire Legal Services Limited which is a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08838592. Registered office Sherwood House, 1 Snitterton Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3LZ.

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under SRA ID number 637916.

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