New-build delay: what should you do?


There’s nothing more annoying than a New-build delay of your new home – especially if you have already ended your old tenancy agreement. What do you do if your new home is not yet ready to move into?

Construction works are delayed time and again. This might be due to poor weather conditions during construction, building owners having new plans and ideas every week, or developers not starting on time or causing hold-ups later on. Whatever the reason: delays in construction are especially irritating if you have already ended your old tenancy agreement, but can’t yet move into your new home.

If moving in is possible ...

In some cases, you may be able to move into your new place and live ‘on site’, so to speak, for a few days. This is a viable option if the building is likely to be completed within a few working days. If you choose to do this, you will be entitled to a reduction in your rent due to the disruption to your living situation. If your landlord does not offer this reduction, you will have to assert a claim against them. Make sure you do this on the day you move in (in writing, via registered letter) and remember to document the precise ways in which your living situation has been disrupted (be sure to include photos).

If you can’t move in ...

If your new home is not yet ready to move into due to a new-build delay: what should you do?, you should also record this in writing. Send your landlord a registered letter explaining that you don’t believe it’s possible to move into the new building. If you send an email instead of a letter, make sure you insist that the landlord confirm this by registered letter.

Give your landlord a deadline of a few days to complete the new building. If your new home is not completed within the allotted time, you can withdraw from the tenancy agreement, provided that it is impossible for you to move in, or unreasonable to expect you to do so. However, as you have already terminated your old tenancy agreement, you probably will not want to give up your new place.

So make you sure you stick to the new tenancy agreement. Insist that your landlord allow you to install furniture in the building and that they pay for a hotel for you for the duration of the delay. A little tip: in some cases, you can store your furniture in the new building yet even if it is not yet habitable.

Important: Document everything

You will owe the full rental payment only from the date on which you can actually move into the new build. If you want to claim financial compensation, you must be able to prove why the building is not ready to move into on the agreed date. You won’t be able to claim for the cost of hotel stays or furniture storage unless you can provide clear evidence of this. So make sure you take photos illustrating your situation. This is a much more effective way of documenting everything than simply writing an email.