New Houses (Purchase)

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil 12:00 am, 18th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what measures his Department intends to take to provide adequate safeguards and protection for buyers of new houses in Wales.

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

The National House Builders Registration Council's scheme already provides a large measure of protection and the Defective Premises Act will come into force on 1st January 1974. The Law Commission is studying the problem of gazumping.

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil

Is the Minister aware that those measures have totally failed to safeguard home buyers during the last two years and that the speculative processes have continued? Is he not aware, for example, that when a buyer signs a house-to-house contract he may find six or seven months later that the garage is non-existent or that a fitted kitchen turns out to be just a top sink unit? Will the Department do something about the way home buyers are so badly treated at the moment?

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

As I said on an earlier Question, the whole matter of gazumping was answered by my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney- General some time ago. It is certainly a difficult problem which the Law Commission has been studying.

Photo of Mr Neil Kinnock Mr Neil Kinnock , Bedwellty

But will the hon. Gentleman recognise that while the NHBRC's attempts are laudable they fall very far short of what is necessary in safeguarding the position for new home buyers? Is he aware that they do not cover the upkeep or condition of estates when they are left by developers and that constantly we have dirty, unsightly, unhealthy and dangerous estates throughout South Wales?

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

If the hon. Member has any particular problem he wants to draw to my attention, please let him do so. With regard to the general matter of the NHBRC, the council still believes that it is important that it should maintain its present character. Local authorities have been recommended to lend only on new houses covered by the scheme and the Building Societies Association has made a similar recommendation to its members.