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New build defects

If your home is under 12 months old, the original build contractor for the property is responsible for putting right any defects. Find out more in our FAQs below.

What is a defect?

A defect is slightly different to our normal repairs. A defect usually occurs when something has not been finished properly or there is a fault (such as within a door entry system, light fittings/switches etc).

All new homes take time to settle and as a result it is common to see cracks appear. These cracks will be picked up at your end of defects inspection after 12 months from when your home was built. If any of these cracks are wider than a £1 coin it could be a defect, if this occurs please let us know.

Defects do not include general maintenance, accidental damage, wear and tear or misuse.

What is a defects period?

If your home is under 12 months old, it is within the defects period. This is when the original build contractor for the property would come back to put right any defects.

The defects period is 12 months after the developer handed over the property to Stonewater, not 12 months from the date you move into your home. When you move in, we’ll tell you how long the defects period is for your home.

Please contact us to report any emergencies even if you believe these to have originated from a defect.

How do I report a defect?

If you discover a defect, The easiest way to report your repair is via MyHome. You can access MyHome on the web or via the MyHome app.

MyHome is available 24/7 and might save you a bit of time if the phone lines are busy. Alternatively you can find out other ways to contact us.

If the contractor is responsible, we will ask them to make contact with you to arrange a time to visit your home and resolve the defect. How long it takes to resolve the defect will depend on what the actual defect is. For example, hairline cracks will be rectified at the end of defect period to allow for the property to dry out further.

Please refer to the Residents Manual given to you upon sign-up for some common defects and standard response times.

What happens at the end of the defects period?

12 months after handover we will ask to inspect your home.

It's important you allow Stonewater and our partnering contractors access so we can identity any defects before the defects period expires.

Before our visit, please make sure you make a list of any defects that you have identified in your home. You may be asked to sign a list of defects, but only sign if you’re happy everything is included.

If defects are not included in your signed list or we’re unable to access your home, unfortunately our contractor will not be able to deal with them.

What is the National House Building Council (NHBC)?

New build homes also benefit from the NHBC warranty. This is an insurance policy which comes into effect 12 months after the handover of the property from the developer to Stonewater.

NHBC cover lasts up to 10 years. The NHBC certificate will have been given to you in your sign up pack. Please keep these documents safe in case you need to make a claim.

New build lawn care

Your garden has been landscaped and will become your responsibility on the date your tenancy/lease commences. This includes regular mowing of the lawn, and initial watering and care during the bedding in period.

As outlined in your sign-up pack, your garden will not be maintained or replaced by Stonewater or the developer and cannot be reported as a defect.

Lawns need to be carefully maintained especially where new turf has been laid.

Here are some tips to help you maintain your lawn:

  • It is important to water your lawn well, the water should soak through to the ground below.
  • Water your new turf daily for the first month.
  • Be careful not to over-water your turf as this can encourage lawn disease. Lift up a corner of the turf and check its underside – it should be moist and dark, but not sopping wet.
  • Try and avoid walking and allowing pets onto your new turf until roots have bedded into the soil which can take weeks. This can cause permanent damage to the turf.
  • If your new turf has been laid on a slope, it can take longer to root in, so stay off it a little longer.
  • Wait a few weeks before mowing your new turf, and when you do mow it, be sure to set your mower to one of its highest cutting settings. When mowing in the autumn and early spring, it is best to use one of the highest cutting settings on your mower.
  • Fertilising your lawn a couple of times a year will help keep it healthy. Most people do this in the spring and autumn.

A common pest for new lawns are leather jackets, which are particularly attracted to fresh, new turf. They are the larvae of the crane fly (daddy long-legs) and live just below the surface of the lawn until they emerge as adult flies during August-October. The adult flies then lay eggs and the new grubs start feasting, starting the cycle again.

Regular mowing will also help keep leather jackets at bay. As leather jackets are a naturally occurring pest, especially in more rural areas, they are not considered a defect.

You can find out more about leather jackets, including how to prevent and treat them, in our leather jackets FAQs.