Home Reports and the Housing Market

Whether we like it or not we will have home reports from 1 December in Scotland.   

 According to the RICS website 

It’s up to the owner of the property to arrange for a Home Report and then make it available to anyone interested in buying their home. 

The Home Report has three parts:

  1. A single survey and valuation of the property
    which must, by law, be carried out by a chartered
    surveyor who is a member of RICS. 
  2. Energy Report with an Energy Performance
    Certificate which can also be carried out by a
    chartered surveyor who is a member of RICS.
  3. Property Questionnaire which will be filled out
    by the home owner showing who the electricity
    supplier is; whether the home has satellite TV; what
    the parking arrangements are and the council tax
    band as well as other general information.

 

When we already have a very slow housing market, when there are more houses taking longer to sell is it wise for the Scottish Government to have left the wishes of the legal profession in Scotland unheeded.

BRITAIN-HOUSEPRICES

  

According to the Law Society website and their press release of 18 November :- 

 The Law Society of Scotland plans to push for an early review of Home Reports to ensure that they are working for homeowners in Scotland after their December 1 launch.
The Society has backed proposals for property buyers to have more and better information about their prospective purchases but has voiced strong  concerns about the inclusion of a compulsory single survey in Home Report packs, which are intended to help to improve housing stock in Scotland as well as better inform housebuyers.

At the Society’s September AGM more than 2,000 solicitors called for the Home Reports to be postponed in light of the property market slowdown in addition to long held concerns about the viability of the Single Survey in the new home information pack.

 

Richard Henderson, president of the Law Society of Scotland said: “The Scottish Government has confirmed that it will launch Home Reports next month. While we agree that it’s important that people are as well informed as they can be before buying a property, which is usually the biggest financial investment anyone makes , many of the Society’s members feel that the inclusion of the Single Survey in the pack does not address the issue of multiple surveys, as it has a limited shelf-life, and may impede certain home owners from selling their property as the upfront costs will be borne by the seller. 

The Society has worked with the government, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and consumer organisations on Home Reports and we want to maintain an open and constructive dialogue to ensure that Home Reports work in the public’s best interest. If there are areas that need to be reviewed or amended, we will press for change at the earliest stage possible.

Mr Henderson added: “Solicitors play a vital role within the property market and the Society is continuing its work to ensure that the profession will be ready  for  December 1  and able to advise their clients on everything they need to do whether they want to buy or sell a house after December 1.

“The Society hopes that the government will agree to an early review to ensure that members of the public are protected and that the biggest change there has been in the property market is made to work as well as possible for those they were planned to assist – the people who are buying and selling houses – particularly during the current economic climate.”

 

In the interests of the economy when are the government going to realise that they have to do something to help rather than hinder the sale of property from which much of our other business follows? The prominent “Sale” signs at furniture shops all over Scotland tells its own tale…. 

As other property solicitors in the Capital have recommended the simplest way to allow some investment into the property market would have been to allow pension funds to acquire residential property, a proposed move which was shelved some time ago. First time buyers, or at least those with no access to mortgages, have to be replaced as the first rung on the property ladder with something more tangible. 

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