About Home Reports
Legislation in Scotland requires that residential properties for sale now require a Home Report prior to the property being marketed. The Home Report must contain a Single Survey, an Energy Report and a Property Questionnaire.
Video link to full explanation by Grant Robertson MRICS chairman of Allied Surveyors and member of RICS Residential Faculty commissioned by the Scottish Government
The following is an extract from the official government pages, for more information from the official source please go here:
The Home Report must be given to prospective purchasers within nine calendar days of their request for a copy. Sellers or their selling agent can't charge home buyers for a copy of the Home Report, but may make a reasonable charge for copying and posting a Home Report.
You may find after 1 December that some homes are not marketed for sale with a Home Report. The duty to provide a Home Report applies to homes that are marketed for sale from 1 December 2008 onwards. Therefore, you may find that some homes are not marketed for sale with a Home Report because they have been placed on the market prior to 1 December 2008.
The Home Report contains a Single Survey, an Energy Report and a Property Questionnaire.
The Single Survey gives sellers detailed information about the condition and value of a home before it is marketed for sale. It also gives buyers better information about the condition and value of a home before they make an offer to purchase.
The Single Survey includes an accessibility audit that will make Scotland the first country to require that the accessible features of every home for sale are highlighted to potential buyers. This information will benefit parents with young children and older people, as well as disabled people.
Single Survey in detail: download a sample Single Survey
The Energy Report gives a home's energy efficiency rating and its environmental impact in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
It recommends ways to improve the building's energy efficiency and gives contact details for further advice and information about how to make a home more energy efficient and save fuel costs. The Energy Report helps home buyers to make 'green' choices, by comparing energy costs between homes and giving practical advice to reduce carbon emissions and save on energy bills.
Energy Report in detail: download a sample Energy Report
The Property Questionnaire contains information for home buyers, solicitors and surveyors.
It would include, for example: a home's council tax band, parking facilities, factoring arrangements, any local authority notices that affect it and alterations that have been made to the home.
This information will be useful for buyers before they decide whether to submit an offer to purchase a home. The Property Questionnaire will also reduce the risk of delay and difficulties in conveyancing. download a sample Property Questionnaire
Exceptions to the duty to provide a Home Report
Anyone marketing a home for sale must provide a copy of a Home Report, but there are some exceptions. These are listed below.
New housing - New housing includes homes that may be sold 'off-plan' to the first purchaser or sold to the first occupier. Any subsequent sale of a home will not be exempt even if it has a certificate from, for example, the National House-Building Council (NHBC).
Newly converted premises - This means a property which is being, or has been, converted to a home if it has not previously been used in its converted state.
Right to Buy homes - As the sale of a home to a tenant under the 'Right to Buy' does not involve marketing, the duty to provide a Home Report does not apply. A separate package of information is being developed for Right to Buy purchasers.
Seasonal and holiday accommodation - This exception refers to seasonal
and holiday accommodation (as defined in planning legislation), which only has permission
to be used for less than 11 months in any year. It does not include second homes
or holiday cottages that could be used all year if the owner so chose.
A portfolio of residential properties - This means a home which
is to be sold with one or more other homes and where it is clear from the manner
in which the homes are marketed that the seller does not intend to accept an offer
to buy one of those homes in isolation from another. Sales of a portfolio of residential
properties are considered to be commercial transactions. A home which is ancillary
to a principal property may include, for example a 'granny flat', or butler's cottage
that is attached to a larger property on a country estate.
'Mixed sales'- This occurs where a home is sold with one or more
non-residential properties (provided it is clear that the seller does not intend
to consider an offer to buy the home separately from the non-residential property).
This might include farmhouses that are part of a working farm, or flats above shops
or pubs that are sold with the shop or pub.
Dual use of a dwelling house - This describes the situation where
the home is, or forms part of, a property most recently used for both residential
and non-residential purposes, such as a commercial studio where the owner also lives
in the home.
Unsafe properties - Unsafe properties are evidently in a condition
that poses a serious risk to the health or safety of occupants or visitors, or where
the way the home is marketed suggests it is unsuitable for occupation in that condition.
There is little point in a condition survey being undertaken on a home that is unfit
for occupation in any case, and is being advertised as such.
Properties to be demolished - There is an exception for homes to
be demolished where it is clear the home is suitable for demolition and all the
necessary consents have been obtained for demolition and consents obtained for redevelopment.
There is little point in a condition survey being undertaken on a home that is to
be demolished and is being advertised as a development site.