Home Report Legalities

In Scotland, the Home Report was introduced back in December 2008 and means that anyone who puts their property on the market for sale in Scotland must obtain a Home Report which is available for prospective buyers (and their agents) for the duration that the property is for sale. 

A basic Home Report includes a Property Questionnaire, a Single Survey and an Energy Report which includes an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Some surveyors may also provide a Mortgage Valuation Report which will be useful background information for the lender.

If you’re wondering how soon after putting your home on the market you need to produce a Home Report for prospective buyers – you’d better get organised! In Scotland, you are obliged to provide a copy of the Home Report within nine days of marketing your home.

Legally speaking – at the moment- there is no legislation which imposes a validity period or a ‘shelf life’ so to speak for any of the Home Report documents. But please note, decisions as to whether any aspects of the Home Report need to be refreshed/updated are to be agreed between the seller, buyer and their professional advisers, depending on the circumstances of each case here in Scotland. (The report ‘refresh’ is usually a re-inspection, not an additional survey.) 

If you’re selling your home in Scotland, we’d advise clients to bear in mind that it is quite common for a Home Report refresh to be instructed (usually driven by the purchaser’s solicitor) but again this is not a legal requirement. This would usually happen when the sale has taken a considerable time or if the lender is looking for an update.

And yes, even if you sell your home privately, you still need a Home Report! Under Part 3 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, the person accountable for marketing the property must provide a Home Report to any potential purchasers. As a general rule, be mindful you cannot charge prospective purchasers for seeing the Home Report.

As already mentioned, if you are selling your home in Scotland, you need to commission and provide a Home Report. However, if you or your selling agent doubt the buyer’s ability to purchase the home (for example, you don’t believe they’re a genuine buyer or you don’t think they have the funds to purchase), then the duty to provide a Home Report does not apply. If a potential buyer considers they have been unlawfully denied a copy of the Home Report, they have the right to complain to the local authority Trading Standards.

Finally, it is essential that you instruct a qualified surveyor that has knowledge of your local area in Scotland to make sure that you are getting the best possible advice. Here at Allied Surveyors, we have 30 offices across Scotland – covering every postcode – so if you are in need of a Home Report, or any other property related advice, then please don’t hesitate to contact our Head Office on 0141 330 9950 or simply email us info@alliedsurveyorsscotland.com

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