1. The Home Report was introduced in Scotland on 1 December 2008. It means that the majority of houses for sale in Scotland must have a Home Report when they are put on the market. The Home Report includes
- a Single Survey which contains an assessment by a surveyor of the condition of the home, a valuation and an accessibility audit for people with particular needs
- an Energy Report which includes an assessment by a surveyor of the energy efficiency of the home and its environmental impact, and recommends ways to improve these, and
- a Property Questionnaire which is completed by the seller of the home. It contains additional information about the home, such as council tax banding and factoring costs, that will be useful to buyers.
2. The Home Report was introduced to give more information upfront about the condition, energy efficiency and valuation of a property. It can aid the decision for sellers on how to market a property; for example by highlighting any possible repairs/improvements that could be made before placing a property on the market. It can encourage buyers to make confident decisions in a difficult market.
3. Before the introduction of the Home Report Scottish Ministers committed to carrying out a full policy review after five years of operation. The five year policy review is expected to conclude by the end of 2014 and will have two stages.
4. This consultation is the first stage of the five year policy review. The report on the analysis of consultation responses will be published in April 2014. The consultation has been designed to gather the views and experiences of stakeholders and individuals on Home Reports and how they work in the current market.
5. The second stage of the five year review will involve a research study. The research study, due to begin late Spring/early Summer, will consider and build on the Interim Review and the findings from this consultation to evaluate how the Home Report has performed over its five years of operation. It will also contain a market analysis to provide a comprehensive review of Home Reports.
6. This consultation aims to seek the views and experiences of people who have used the Home Report, and of those that are involved in the house buying and selling system including buyers, sellers and industry professionals.
7. The consultation is in three sections, which seek views on:
Section 1 - whether the Home Report is meeting its objectives and if these objectives are still the right ones.
Section 2 - how the Home Report operates in the current market, by exploring topics raised by stakeholders and the general public since the introduction of the Home Report costs, commissioning, production, marketing, timescales, access, enforcement, access to mortgage finance, exceptions and redress.
Section 3 - the content, layout and usefulness of the Home Report documents.
We welcome your views on each of these sections.