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NHBC stands for the National House Building Council, which issues a formal ten year warranty on all new property built under its auspices. It will be difficult, though not impossible, to obtain a mortgage on any new property that is outside this scheme. In any case there are other similar types of warranty such as one offered by Zurich Insurance and Foundation 15 but approaching 95% will be NHBC.

Basically the Council prescribes minimum standards for design and construction, while trained inspectors visit the new property under construction to ensure it is built in compliance with these standards. The builder will have given the NHBC an undertaking to repair any faults which arise within the first two years, while the NHBC insurance scheme will cover any major faults for the balance of the ten-year term which the builder is unable to rectify.

A new house which has been built privately for the seller’s own occupation may not be covered by the NHBC scheme. It should however have been professionally supervised under construction and thus be covered by a comparable architect’s certificate or similar form of security. Without some warranty of this nature, it may be difficult or almost impossible to mortgage, and you should take careful advice from your solicitor before proceeding very far with such a property.

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