What is snagging?Snagging is a slang expression used within the building industry in the UK and Ireland. It is used to describe the process of defect identification and resolution. For new build homes snagging is carried out by the homeowner or a snagging inspector when notice is served usually two weeks before completion or at any tim during the first two years of the warranty period.
It is used in other contexts such as software development and is an expression that is starting to become more widely known outside the building industry. This is due in part to the fact that most newly-built properties are now bought off-plan exposing the buyers to snagging. In addition, snagging is also the main source of conflict between the buyers of new build and the property developers which has led to regular coverage of snagging in the media.
In the UK astute new home buyers employ the services of an industry qualified expert to 'snag' their new home and not assume the developer has done this thoroughly. A good snagging company will be able to find more faults and be able to ensure the developer puts the faults right within a reasonable time. The problem is that in the UK new homes are excluded from the majority of consumer protection legislation, such as the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. If they were the buyer would be able to demand that the defects were put right within 14 days. If the developer was unable to do this the buyer could pay another contractor to put the defects right and get the developer to pay. The warranty providers such as the NHBC provide a dispute resolution service but they will insist that the developer has been given eight weeks to put the defects right. Many claim that the NHBC is in the pockets of the developers because ultimately it is the developers not the buyers that pay for the warranty.