National housebuilder Persimmon has made the news for the right reasons after a run of bad publicity in recent months over problems caused from its new build housing and poor effort in handling buyers’ complaints.
Persimmon recently announced that by the end of June 2019, it will have in place a new homebuyer’s retention clause. It claims that this is a new pioneering step within the construction sector.
The scheme will mean that as part of the buying contract, a maximum value of 1.5 per cent can be held back by the homebuyer’s solicitor at the time of handing over the keys, until any snags or faults have been addressed by the building site contractors.
At present, the retention value is likely to stand at £3,600 based on current selling prices and is part of a list of measures, the developer is introducing to improve its standard of customer care.
Aided by the government’s help to buy initiative, Persimmon’s annual profit has reached £1.1bn, However, an excessive wave of customer complaints resulted in the housebuilder losing its Home Builders Federation four star award in 2014. This award is considered the minimum industry standard for customer satisfaction and five years on Persimmon has still to regain it.
Roger Devlin, Persimmon 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.
This latest initiative will have rival housebuilders watching carefully to see how successfully Persimmon tempts back buyers.