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New Homes Quality Code Parts 1 and 3: Marketing, Sales and Quality

Outcome: Not upheld

Case date: 16th October 2023

The Issues

The customer complained about the quality of the kitchen cabinet doors and the way in which the kitchen handles had been fitted.   

The Circumstances

The customer bought a completed property after a previous reservation fell through. The transaction was on a “sold as seen” basis and the customer was not able to make any changes before completing the purchase. The customer wished to change the handles on the kitchen cabinets after completion and purchased new handles of a similar type to those supplied and fitted with the kitchen. When the customer replaced the handles on two of the doors they were concerned that there were visible indentation marks where the original handles had been fitted. The customer complained that the doors were either of poor quality or that the handles had been fitted too tightly.

The developer arranged for a representative from the kitchen company to visit the property to investigate a number of issues, including the cupboard doors. The representative examined the doors which had already been altered by the customer and concluded that there was no product fault and that the level of indentation caused by the original handles was similar to that caused by the fitting of the new ones.

The Ombudsman’s Decision

The housing complaints Ombudsman acknowledged that there were indentations visible on the doors where the new handles had been fitted. However, the evidence did not support the customer’s view that there was an issue with the quality of the doors, or that the level of indentation was beyond what could reasonably be expected through tightening handles to a level required to make them secure. Because the fitting area of the new handles was smaller than the original, a small area of indentation remained visible.

The housing complaints Ombudsman concluded that the developer had acted reasonably in arranging for the doors to be looked at by the kitchen company and that the evidence did not support the customer’s view about the quality of the doors or the standard of fitting. The complaint was not upheld.  

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