What is a snagging list?

A snagging list is created by new build buyers in the UK and Ireland to detail the snags and defects in their new home.  Many opt to create their own snag list using a snagging checklist or guide book which represents great value compared to the cost of using a professional snagging company. A company will find more faults and will help ensure that the house builder rectifies the snags within a reasonable time.  However, these snagging services are not affordable for all and many have to create their own snag lists using a DIY snagging check list.

A checklist empowers new home buyers by helping them to carry out their own inspection without using a professional service. The checklist is written without the use of jargon to ensure that anybody can do an inspection. It helps new build buyers to create their list in a methodical and logical manor without specialist house building knowledge and helps to ensure that defects are reported as early as possible in the build process as possible for the builder to put right.

Ideally, snagging defects are submitted to the house builder and rectified before the buyer moves in. This means the homeowner does not have the hassle of arranging for builders to access the property after they have moved in,  and there will be no need to waste time and energy trying to get the home builders to rectify snags. It will significantly reduce the stress of buying a new build home.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

simon seaton December 30, 2009 at 3:30 am

Conveyancing lawyers need to ensure ( or at least request ) that the purchase contract includes an obligation for the developer to create a snagging and complete the works within a prescribed time frame.

In the property boom many developers would not agree a snagging provision in the contract paperwork. Times have changed and it it now much easier have the contract more evenly weighted.

Buyers should use a snagging check list ( such as the one suggested ) to ensure that everything is covered off


Tony January 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Simon, I would say that this is practically impossible even now with the big developers. Many still make it difficult for snagging inspectors to access the property before legal completion.


Laura Heselwood January 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm


I don’t know if any of you can advise me on this! We brought a property under 6 months ago and since moving in have found a huge amount of snagging problems including a driveway that has sunk, windows not fitted correctly, doors which don’t close and a leaking shower. The builder is not answering my calls and my solictors did not include a snagging period in our contract. Do I have any rights at all? The house has a Build Zone 10 year warranty, but we have to pay £1000 excess for each individual snag! Any advice very welcome as I’m totally stuck with how to proceed.


Tony January 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm

@Laura Yes, the Zurich warranty is of little use when it comes to snagging, not much worse than the NHBC warranty.

I am afraid that new homes or more specifically land transactions are excluded from the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. However, you are still protected by contract law and common law so you can pursue the builder through the courts.

Before you do that it is worth trying to establish whether the business is viable and would be able to pay as I am assuming this is not a mass builder.

You can use the Small Claim process and this only costs £35 if the cost is less than £10,000. You will need someone to cost the remedial work for you.

And before you do this you need to give them the opportunity to put the problems right before you start legal proceedings.


Gavin Shaw September 19, 2011 at 1:35 am

Hello, we bought a new build 2 bed apartment 4 months ago in Clapham and are very dissatisfied with many aspects of the builder’s work. We continue to report the growing list of latent defects but the builder and the developer are very slow to respond and reject many of our complaints. Before we could consider legal action we should have an independent, professional report on the defects in our apartment. The credibility of the report author is clearly critical to the success of any action. Is there anyone you would suggest? Many thanks for any help you might give, Gavin


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