Buying or Selling Property in Scotland? What to Look for in the Home Report

by Sam Dressler on February 14, 2013

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One of the most important steps in purchasing a new property is obtaining a comprehensive home report. We take a look at the importance of a home report and the vital details that you should take heed of before you proceed to making an offer.

The Basis of the Home Report

Every house for sale in Scotland now has to be marketed with a Home Report as part of the legal requirement. The Home Report consists of three documents which are

The Single Survey – This will contain an assessment by a qualified surveyor as to the general condition of the home together with a valuation and also an accessibility audit aimed at people who may have particular or special needs.

The Energy Report – This contains an assessment by a surveyor in respect of the current energy efficiency of the property and its impact on the environment together with some suggestions on how the energy efficiency rating can be improved in the future.

The Property Questionnaire – This is completed by the seller of the home and also has to contain additional information such as Council Tax banding details and any other ongoing costs that a potential buyer should be aware of.

Important Legislation to be aware of

The law changed in December 2008 which changed the way houses are bought and sold in Scotland and legislation was passed relating to “Provision of Information on Sale of House” which dictates that certain documents have to be made available when a house is being marketed. You can get more information as to your legal requirements if you are a seller by downloading official government guidelines[PDF]. You should be aware that failure to comply with these requirements can leave the person responsible for marketing the home with a fixed penalty fine of £500.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 sets out a number of provisions that are important for a seller to comply with such as the importance of the buyer being able to rely on the terms of the survey as way of determining whether they should proceed with the purchase. It is well worth confirming the details of the legislation by downloading the official government explanatory notes[PDF].

The Duty of the Seller

Whilst the legislation specifies that the surveyor is primarily responsible for the accuracy of any property report they provide, there are certain provisions in the law relating to the selling process where the onus of responsibility or liability lies with the seller. The best course of action before you consider putting your property on the market is view the official government guidelines.

Selling a home in Scotland

Is quite different to the way that the process is carried out in England and Wales. The purpose of a home information pack in these countries is to avoid the risk of delayed or failed bids and to provide a better level of information at the initial point of sale. Buyers in Scotland can take comfort from the fact that they will have access to a far greater level of information and a more comprehensive report altogether. The overall aim of introducing the Home Report was to make each property sale transaction more efficient but it has also helped homeowners address issues that need resolving regarding repairs and faults before they proceed to sale.

The Home Report is a legal obligation so if you are a seller, make sure that you use an approved surveyor (Check their accreditation if you are unsure) and if you are a buyer, insist on gaining access to the report immediately upon expressing an interest to purchase.

Sam Dressler is a property consultant. He enjoys sharing his research and findings on various legal and investment blogs. Visit for more information

Sam Dressler

Sam Dressler

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