Be Sure to Create a Snagging List When You Move Into a New Property
When you move into a newly-built house it is possible that there will be defects and imperfections. A snag list is an inventory of the defects and pieces of work that have not been completed properly and which you as the new homeowner have the right to have remedied by the builders or developers prior to moving in. When you purchase a newly built property be aware that the building work will often have been performed by sub-contractors working under tight time-constraints and minor details may have been overlooked in the rush to have everything done according to schedule. As soon as you have bought the property you can speak to the site manager or developer and ask for a time at which you can conduct a thorough inspection for defects and faults. Do not let the builders or developers discourage you as you have the right to carry out an inspection.
Drawing up the snagging list is the responsibility of the buyer alone. It is not an opportunity to simply ask for fixtures and items to be moved to suit you but is strictly for the rectifying of defects. Getting the faults dealt with before you move in will save you having to chase the builders at a later date. All that is required from you to draw up a comprehensive list is a free day or two and good attention to detail. Taking a friend along is useful as two pairs of eyes are better than one when checking for minor faults.
You will need to check for visual faults such as paint splashes and bashes to doors and walls incurred during construction, and make sure that fixtures, boilers, heaters, and taps all operate correctly. Give yourself a good half-day to check a three-bedroom house and possibly longer for double-checking. Make sure you turn the heating on and check radiators for leaks; check door fittings for draughts and that kitchen appliances all work; run the hot water and showers and watch the sinks drain well. Comprehensive checklists of faults to look out for are freely available online.
When you have drawn up a thorough and comprehensive snagging list be sure to make several copies: send one to the developers’ or builder’s head office if dealing with a large company, or send to the builder’s representative on the ground. It is vitally important to hold on to a copy of the snagging list so that you can check back once the remedial work has been performed by the builders to make sure that all the faults you had flagged up have been addressed and put right to a satisfactory standard. Do not rely on a verbal agreement with the builders to put right the problems. You may find it useful to agree to hold back a small percentage of the final payment for the property that will only be paid when the snagging list has been completed and the project signed off to your satisfaction.