Over the last few years, the Property Litigation team at Edwin Coe has seen a large increase in instructions relating to problems surrounding the inadequate design and poor workmanship of new build properties. Property owners often come to us as a last resort having been unable to agree with their developer and/or insurance provider that these defects should be dealt with by them and remedied. Owners need to be wary of the serious hurdles their claim may face, such as those pleaded in the recent case of Simon Thomas & Ors –V- Taylor Wimpey Developments Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1134 (TCC) in which it was held that the claim was not brought within time and therefore could not proceed.
This is a complicated area of law but often will involve property owners making claims involving:
- The Defective Premises Act 1972;
- Breach of contract by the developer being in breach of a specific term in a contract for sale or an agreement for lease; and
- A claim under an NHBC or similar new build warranty policy.
As shown in the Taylor Wimpey case, it is important that advice is sought at an early stage and in particular when engaging with an insurer which will often involve very stringent time limits that must be adhered to.
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