Coronavirus final

COVID-19

We continue to support our policyholders
and customers throughout the pandemic.

Find out more below

LAST UPDATED: 5th August 2020

NHBC has prepared these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to keep you informed about our operations during the pandemic. Contact details for colleagues who can support you with further information can be found here.

Use the buttons below to see the right FAQs for you:

General

For Builders and Developers For housing associations

For homeowners For conveyancers For suppliers

General FAQs

Is NHBC deploying Furlough?

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We have deployed the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and some staff are furloughed. This was necessary to help protect the long-term interests of NHBC, for the benefit of customers, homeowners, employees and other stakeholders. We continue to provide a responsive service to our policyholders and customers.

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Have you closed your offices?

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Our offices in London, Belfast and Edinburgh remain closed. Where appropriate and necessary, some colleagues are working from the office in Milton Keynes to strict capacity limitations which support social distancing. We are hoping to open some access to London in the forthcoming weeks. We are working on processes to make sure all is as safe as it can be. Similar measures to Milton Keynes will be in place (such as temperature testing and signage).

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What precautions is NHBC taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

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We are following Public Health England guidelines about prevention and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensuring our team members are kept fully informed about the latest guidance and rules. The wellbeing and safety of our team members, customers and business partners remains of the utmost priority.

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What is NHBC doing to support its team members?

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NHBC is regularly communicating with our team members and supporting them through this challenging time. We are particularly mindful of the needs of vulnerable team members and those who are carers and parents. Our Employee Assistance Helpline and Mental Health First Aiders are available to team members as required. We have introduced wellbeing days to encourage those who have worked throughout the pandemic to recharge.

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What can we do to help?

Call 0344 633 1000 and ask for 'Customer Services' or send us an email.

FAQs for Builders and Developers

What is the latest on NHBC’s Operating Position?

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We remain operational and able to support customers. Although many NHBC colleagues are working from home, we continue to maintain service levels across Technical Operations, Customer Services and Claims (with some adjustment to working practices – e.g. desktop and technology assisted claims assessments where we are able to do that).

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Will I still be able to get cover notes?

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Yes, please contact Customer Services on 0344 633 1000 or by email at cssupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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How do I get in contact with my Engineer, Project Manager or Surveyor if they are now working from home?

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Our team members who work from home have full access to all of their office systems including email and phones. You can therefore contact them via your usual method. If a team member is not available, their out of office will direct you to the best person to contact. Technical Information should ideally be submitted via the NHBC Portal.

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Will NHBC be able to provide CML certificates as normal?

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Yes, please contact Customer Services on 0344 633 1000 or by email at cssupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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Will NHBC be able to provide Building Control final certificates as normal?

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Yes, please contact Customer Services on 0344 633 1000 or by email at cssupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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Will NHBC be able to provide EPC certificates as normal?

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Yes, please contact Technical Support by email at Energyrating@nhbc.co.uk.

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What is happening with Claims inspections and remedial work?

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Our Claims teams and Investigators are still actively working with a number of changes to how they operate. NHBC will replace physical visits with desktop investigations wherever possible, which will include requests for photographs, video or FaceTime in order to assess claims. Where physical visits are required, NHBC Claims Investigators are able to carry out external visits across the UK and internal visits in England and Scotland. Our Claims Investigators follow government guidance on working and maintaining safe social distancing.

Builders and Homeowners will continue to be updated on our findings but reports will be issued only via email.

NHBC Remedial Works Contractors continue to carry out external repairs to properties where it is safe to do so and government guidance allows it. We are not currently carrying out internal repairs to occupied properties, which are being delayed or settled by alternative means.

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What’s the latest on NHBC Customer Services, Technical Operations and Claims?

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A number of our teams continue to operate as close as possible to business-as-usual including: Customer Services for registrations and Road & Sewer Bonds; Technical Operations for technical submissions; and Claims on resolution cases and warranty claims, with limitations around home visits.

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What is happening with site visits?

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NHBC will continue to carry out Key Stage Inspections and other inspections, unless we have Government guidance that requires us to operate differently. Any NHBC visit to site must adhere to strict hygiene and social distancing protocols. If our staff feel that the protocols cannot be maintained, we have instructed them to leave immediately. The health and wellbeing of our staff, customers and business partners remains our top priority and we are keeping this advice under constant review should circumstances change.

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What’s the latest on NHBC Technical and On-Site Support?

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NHBC will continue to provide support to your technical teams with our technical staff having the ability to work remotely. On-site inspections will continue where we are satisfied that we can work to Public Health England guidelines on hygiene and social distancing. This will continue to be the case unless Government advice dictates otherwise.

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Will you continue to operate the National New Homes Surveys (CSS)?

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We continue to operate both the 8 week and 9 month surveys,with postal surveys and reminders still being dispatched and processed. (The online survey process has been and remains unaffected.) There may be a slight delay in processing the postal elements of the surveys, but both surveys are fully operational.

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Should I still submit information via the NHBC Portal if my usual contact is working from home?

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Yes, submitting information via the NHBC Portal ensures it goes directly to the person responsible for the project. It also enables colleagues to access the information should your usual contact fall ill or be unable to work for whatever reason.

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Can I still register sites with NHBC?

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Yes, our business continuity plans are in place and we are maintaining normal service levels.

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How can I get the training I need during this period?

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NHBC is providing a range of courses virtually during times when social distancing measures are in force. These include open technical courses and free webinars.

To book your place, click here.

For specific training requests and to book inhouse courses, please contact training@nhbc.co.uk.

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What is happening about NVQs?

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Our team is still working to assess and support our NVQ candidates during this lockdown period. The team is working from home but using our remote working processes to keep up with assessment submissions and new candidate inductions.

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What is happening with Building for tomorrow?

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We are excited to confirm that our Building for tomorrow programme will return in 2021. It will be delivered in a new virtual format but still offers an outstanding agenda of keynote speakers and industry-critical topics. More details will follow but, in the meantime, queries can be directed to buildingfortomorrow@nhbc.co.uk.

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What is happening with the Health & Safety Awards 2020?

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Regrettably, the 2020 Health & Safety Awards which were due on 3 July have been cancelled. We acknowledge that this will cause disappointment to the entrants who have worked hard to earn much-deserved recognition for their commitment to high standards but hope they can appreciate why it is necessary.

We have considered ways in which we might be able to continue with this year’s Awards but unfortunately this has not proved possible. Establishing Health & Safety award winners would have required c.80 verification visits nationwide; these are in-depth and interactive and are simply not tenable under the present restrictions.

Our Health & Safety Services team have contacted each entrant to advise them of this news and set out next steps, including how to obtain a full refund.

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What is happening with Pride in the Job?

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We were delighted to be able to continue with the first stage of this year’s Pride in the Job competition - the announcement of the Quality Awards in June 2020. Regional judging is currently underway as well as some verification work on the QA awards already announced. We will announce the Seal of Excellence Awards and the Regional Winners at Virtual Events in October - more information will be announced in the next couple of months. In the meantime, please direct enquiries to prideinthejob@nhbc.co.uk.

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FAQs for Housing Associations

How do I get in contact with my Engineer, Project Manager or Surveyor if they are now working from home?

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Our team members who work from home have full access to all of their office systems including email and phones. You can therefore contact them via your usual method. If a team member is not available, their out of office will direct you to the best person to contact. Technical Information should ideally be submitted via the NHBC Portal.

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How do I access support with re-mobilisation?

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Our teams are working actively with customers on remobilisation plans. Please get in touch with your NHBC contact for further details of how we can support you.

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What’s the latest on NHBC Customer Services, Technical Operations and Claims?

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A number of our teams continue to operate as close as possible to business-as-usual including: Customer Services for registrations and Road & Sewer Bonds; Technical Operations for technical submissions; and Claims on resolution cases and warranty claims, with limitations around home visits.

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Will NHBC be able to provide CML certificates as normal?

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Yes, please contact Customer Services on 0344 633 1000 or by email at cssupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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Will NHBC be able to provide Building Control final certificates as normal?

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Yes, please contact Customer Services on 0344 633 1000 or by email at cssupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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Should I still submit information via the NHBC Portal if my usual contact is working from home?

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Yes, submitting information via the NHBC Portal ensures it goes directly to the person responsible for the project. It also enables colleagues to access the information should your usual contact fall ill or be unable to work for whatever reason.

See answer

How can I get the training I need during this period?

See answer

NHBC is providing a range of courses virtually during times when social distancing measures are in force. These include open technical courses and free webinars.

To book your place, click here.

For specific training requests and to book inhouse courses, please contact training@nhbc.co.uk.

See answer

What is happening with Claims inspections and remedial work?

See answer

Our Claims teams and Investigators are still actively working with a number of changes to how they operate. NHBC will replace physical visits with desktop investigations where ever possible which will include requests for photographs, video or FaceTime in order to assess claims. Where physical visits are required, NHBC Claims Investigators are able to carry out external visits across the UK and internal visits in England and Scotland. Our Claims Investigators follow all government guidance on working and maintaining safe social distancing.

Builders and Homeowners will continue to be updated on our findings but reports will be issued only via email.

NHBC Remedial Works Contractors have begun carrying out external repairs to properties where it is safe to do so and government guidance allows it. We are not currently carrying out internal repairs to occupied properties, which are being delayed or settled by alternative means.

See answer

FAQs for Homeowners

What is happening with Claims inspections and remedial work?

See answer

Our Claims teams and Investigators are still actively working but there are be a number of changes to how they operate. NHBC will replace physical visits with desktop investigations where ever possible which will include requests for photographs, video or FaceTime in order to assess claims. Where physical visits are required, NHBC Claims Investigators are able to carry out external visits across the UK and internal visits in England and Scotland. Our Claims Investigators follow all government guidance on working and maintaining safe social distancing.

Builders and Homeowners will continue to be updated on our findings but reports will be issued only via email.

NHBC Remedial Works Contractors have begun carrying out external repairs to properties where it is safe to do so and government guidance allows it. We are not currently carrying out internal repairs to occupied properties, which are being delayed or settled by alternative means.

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If I have notified the builder of a problem with my home in the first 2 years of my new home warranty, does the builder have to carry out works now?

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While homeowners must notify their builder of a problem within the first two years of cover (the builder liability period), the works do not have to be carried out within this time. If remedial works are delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak, policy holders who have made claims within the builder liability period will not be penalised if they have not allowed the builder access to do the work.

It is important that homeowners keep records of any calls they have with the builder and/or copies of any emails/letters should they need to provide proof that they notified problems to the builder during the first two years of their new home warranty.

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Are you still posting letters?

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We've stopped posting letters to those claimants who have an email address we can send them to. If you have provided us with an email address, we will send correspondence to that. If we do not already have an email address for you, we will contact you to obtain details over the phone.

If you do not have an email address, we will send letters out to you by post.

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Will you be able to help under your Resolution service?

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We will consider the nature of the problems you have with your home and whether you have notified them to the builder during the first two years of the Buildmark policy. We will then advise whether we will be able to offer you our Resolution Service.

If we can offer our Resolution service but if the items are non-urgent, you should continue to pursue them with the builder directly. In the current situation, any assessment we would need to make may need to be delayed until a future date, by which time the builder may have resolved or agreed to resolve them for you.

If we can offer our Resolution service and the items are urgent, we will try to contact the original builder to get them to attend and deal with matters promptly.

Please note that there may be occasions where we will not offer our Resolution service and you will need to pursue the builder direct or consider using another form of dispute resolution service.

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What happens if I need urgent help – for example if I have a plumbing leak or a problem with my electrics?

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NHBC does not provide an emergency repair service.

If your property is less than two years old, you will need to contact the builder of your home.

If your home is more than two years old, please read your Buildmark policy booklet to see whether the problem is covered under Section 3. If you think it is, please contact us so we can advise you further.

Some issues, like plumbing leaks and electrical problems, are not covered by the Buildmark policy but may be covered by another insurance policy you may have.

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What happens if you have issued instructions to one of your remedial works contractors to carry out work on my home?

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If our remedial works contractors cannot do the work and you consider it to be urgent, please email us so that we can consider any possible alternative options.

However, if the work is non-urgent, the work will have to be postponed. We will contact you again when our contractors are able to do the work.

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I am living in alternative accommodation, what will happen if the repairs to my property will not be done by the time this expires?

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We are reviewing all cases where homeowners are currently living in alternative accommodation and will be contacting them to explain what we will do.

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I have an outstanding claim under Section 4 of the policy, how will matters progress?

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Our Claims team will provide regular updates to the key point of contact on the claim or via the microsite, if there is one.

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What happens if the builder doesn't do the work NHBC has asked them to do?

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Our usual procedures will apply - please click here for further details.

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How can I make a complaint about how NHBC has/is handling a case?

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You can complete the form on the NHBC website, email ConsumerAffairs@nhbc.co.uk or call 01908 746121.

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FAQs for Conveyancers

Can I still get copies of certificates?

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Yes you can. We're operating on a business-as-usual basis so please get in touch with us via the usual channels. For copies of certificates, that's on 0800 035 6422 or email us at cssupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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Where do I direct my finalling queries?

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We're operating on a business-as-usual basis so please get in touch with us via the usual channels. For copies of certificates, that's on 0800 035 6422 or email us at HomeRegistrationSeniorSupport@nhbc.co.uk.

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FAQs for Suppliers

Do I need any extra checks before accessing an NHBC building to carry out maintenance work?

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All maintenance work must be booked via the NHBC Facilities Management Team, this can be done via email. Permission to enter site may be allowed once written approval has been provided by the Facilities Management Team. Note that until further notice, only business critical or legislative maintenance will be carried out at our NHBC sites.

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Is there any guidance for suppliers who are delivering to NHBC premises?

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In line with major couriers NHBC has adopted the policy of not signing for items delivered to its sites. It is expected that all suppliers delivering to NHBC sites, also adopt this policy.

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