Persimmon launches UK’s first retention scheme for homebuyers
Persimmon is to become the first major UK housebuilder to offer a retention policy to protect homebuyers from repair problems.
Under the new initiative, which begins today, the company’s standard contract will say 1.5% of the total home value can be withheld by the buyer’s solicitor until any faults identified at the point of key release are resolved.
Persimmon said the average amount withheld, based on its current selling prices, will be approximately £3,600 per home. The company has instructed its legal advisers to start work on drawing up the detail of its new standard contract and expects the policy to be fully in place by the end of June.
The move is the latest in a series of measures by the housebuilder to improve customer care.
Dave Jenkinson, chief executive officer of Persimmon, said: “Persimmon is listening hard to all of its stakeholders and we hear the message that we need to continue to raise our game in customer care. The initiatives we have already announced, including the action taken in the new year to deliver greater accuracy of anticipated moving in dates by adopting a more targeted approach to the phasing of sales on specific sites and the improvements and investments that we have made in our customer care team, operations and technology over the last few months are beginning to take effect.
“We are now accelerating the pace of change through the introduction of a contracted retention which will give homebuyers far greater satisfaction at the completion of the purchase.
“Moving into a new home should be a positive experience enhanced by all the benefits of a new build that is designed for modern living. We are determined that the experience is not overshadowed by teething problems and providing a homebuyer’s retention is an important step towards achieving this.”
Roger Devlin, Persimmon’s chairman, added: “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.”