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Lawyers say builders and insurers could face compensation claims

Lawyers say builders and insurers could face compensation claims

Stock Image: new housing development

10 December 2018

Builders and insurers could face multiple claims for compensation by buyers after reports the mortar used in potentially hundreds of new build homes is weaker than the recommended industry standards.

Mortar is the mixture of sand and cement typically used to bind bricks together in walls. A report on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme suggests that across at least 13 estates in the UK an insufficient amount of cement and too much sand has been used.

This means the mortar is not of the required strength and can crumble. Problems with mortar can lead to structural issues, and to fix them could, in the worst cases, require the demolition and rebuilding of the whole home. New-build homes are normally sold with a 10-year warranty and insurance protection from providers such as the NHBC.

Pursuant to the warranty scheme, the house builder is normally required to correct defects within the first two years of completion and after that, for the next 8 years, the insurer covers problems with the home that arise because the build did not meet the required standards.

Chris Haan, Associate Solicitor at Leigh Day, said “Home builders have a duty to build homes with reasonable care and skill and using mortar that does not meet the required standards is likely to lead to a breach of that duty. It can be very expensive to correct homes with weak mortar. Builders and insurers may face multiple claims from buyers if they do not repair faulty mortar quickly and properly compensate buyers.”

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