There you are, after endless time and effort you finally find your ideal off-plan state of the art pad. You put down your hard-earned deposit only to find that you are not moving in by XMAS as you had hoped. Your estate agent tells you there’s a problem - the developer’s contractor went bust some time ago and you cannot move in until Spring the following year. Hang on, you think, I wasn’t told that …. where’s the paperwork?? What’s this … reservation agreement … what does it say … deposit not refundable if purchase cancelled – errrrr!!!

Sure, the developer has politely dismissed your request for a refund and your signed contract says non-refundable, but is there a way around this? Just maybe …

"Look for developers that show a willingness to adopt fair practice and have signed up to the NHBC Consumer Code."

Industry regulation has long been an initiative taken, to its credit, by the National House Building Council (NHBC). Whilst not something you would find necessarily bandied around by lawyers in a court room, the benefit of the Consumer Code lies in its adoption by registered builders and home warranty providers - of whom there are many. The Consumer Code mandates all sorts of requirements in connection with the purchase and sale of new homes, one of which is ensuring that any reservation fee paid is clearly documented and refunded subject to any allowable deductions.