Persimmon is the first major UK housebuilder to adopt a homebuyer’s retention policy.
From today (21st March) the company’s standard contract will say 1.5% of the total home value can be withheld by the buyer’s solicitor until any faults identified at the point of key release are resolved.
Based on the company’s current selling prices, the average amount withheld will be approximately £3,600 per home, with that 1.5% equating to around 6% of the build fabric costs.
The Company has instructed its legal advisers to start drawing up the detail of a new standard contract and expects the policy to be fully in place by the end of June.
CEO Dave Jenkinson said Persimmon had “heard the message” over improving customer care.
“The initiatives we have already announced, including the action taken in the new year to deliver greater accuracy of anticipated moving in dates by adopting a more targeted approach to the phasing of sales on specific sites, and the improvements and investments that we have made in our customer care team, operations and technology over the last few months are beginning to take effect,” said Jenkinson.
“We are now accelerating the pace of change through the introduction of a contracted retention which will give homebuyers far greater satisfaction at the completion of the purchase.
“Moving into a new home should be a positive experience enhanced by all the benefits of a new build that is designed for modern living.
“We are determined that the experience is not overshadowed by teething problems and providing a homebuyer’s retention is an important step towards achieving this,” he said.
Roger Devlin, Persimmon’s Chairman, said: “This is a first among the UK’s large housebuilders, and I hope will lead the way in change across the sector.
“This move, and the urgency with which we will introduce it, is a clear and unambiguous signal of cultural and operational change at Persimmon, putting customer care at the very centre of the business.”