The National House-Building Council has announced it is freezing fees on all key services in a move to support Britain's house-building industry.
The consumer protection body for the UK home-building industry will be holding fees at their current levels until at least 31 March 2014. The freeze applies to all key services including warranty products, building control services and registration fees.
It has also axed its resolution charge of £350 for each visit following a significant drop in requests to resolve disputes between builders and homeowners. It will cease to charge for resolutions backdated to 1 January 2013 and will offer refunds for any charges made since then.
New figures show the number of disputes investigated by the NHBC has dropped by around 60% from a peak of nearly 8,500 in 2008 to under 3,500 in 2012.
The organisation is also capping charges for road and sewer bonds that are overdue for release at a reduced level of 3% (from 4%).
NHBC is launching a number of new initiatives and free services – such as free NHBC flags and site boards for all new sites, a new online Home User Guide to upload information for home owners and improved customer satisfaction surveys.
NHBC is one of the UK's leading warranty provider and standard setting body for new homes. It is a not-for-profit organisation which works to raise the construction standards of new homes.
Mike Quinton, NHBC chief executive, said: “In the four months since I joined NHBC, I have been meeting and listening to our customers and other industry representatives.
“We want to do everything we can to support the industry so NHBC has decided to freeze prices across all its key products and services for at least a year. We will also be removing and reducing charges and launching new initiatives designed to save our customers time and money.
“I am pleased to see a slight upturn in the number of home registrations in recent weeks, which I hope could be the first sign of sustained recovery. However, I know that conditions remain challenging so it is important that we offer as much help as we can at this time.”