Company News & Blog

23rd September 2015
Published by: Duloch & Dalgety Bay Discovery

Ask the Surveyor Questions

QUESTION:  I’ve never had to obtain a Home Report before.  I’m thinking about marketing my property and feel quite nervous about the whole thing.  My friend tells me that Home Reports have stopped anyway.  Is that correct?

ANSWER:  I think your friend is confused with Home Information Packs (or HIPs) which were abolished by the former coalition national Government in England and Wales some time ago.  These HIPs provided considerably less information than our own Home Reports which were introduced in Scotland on 1 December 2008 under Part 3 of The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.  Failure to produce a prospective purchaser with a Home Report could result in a fine of £500 under this Act!  However, don’t worry as you’re not alone as many homeowners for the first time are entering the domain of Home Reports and the whole system with the guidance of your friendly Surveyor and Estate Agent is pretty streamlined!  Hardies will be able to point you in the direction of good reputable, local Estate Agents with vast experience and exposure to online marketing websites such as ESPC and Rightmove.  Word of caution though, the “cheapest” selling and marketing fees do not necessarily result in the “best” possible sale price achieved! 

QUESTION:  I carried out some time ago alterations to my property and unfortunately I don’t think that I have all the necessary paperwork from Fife Council.  Can I still market my property?

ANSWER:  In short, you can still market your property and to be fair, this a common issue for many homeowners.  It is in your best interests to be completely upfront with your Surveyor and Solicitor to prevent any possible delay in the sale of your property.  There are 3 prescribed documents which form part of the Home Report or Pack; the Single Survey, an Energy Report and the Property Questionnaire.  The latter must be completed by the Seller and question 6a makes specific reference to alterations carried out during your period of ownership.  Your Surveyor will also note these alterations in the Single Survey Report and if appropriate, recommend that suitable consents and certification be obtained from the Local Authority.  However, the solution may not be as complicated as you perhaps think.  For instance, the works may have been carried out many years ago and a Building Warrant perhaps initially obtained but the subsequent required Completion Certificate was not, another common occurrence.  Such works in terms of current Local Authority Standards and Regulations may also now be deemed to be exempt.  Hardies have a local team of qualified Building Surveyors who are able to provide professional assistance in this regard and if necessary, look at obtaining the necessary paperwork on your behalf.  Your Solicitor with the possible assistance of your Surveyor will also be able to provide advice.

QUESTION:  I’m thinking about buying a new property in the Dunfermline area but the Builder tells me that I won’t get a Home Report for the purchase?  I thought this was a legal requirement in Scotland?  Can you please clarify?

ANSWER: This a very common question.  There a number of exceptions where a Home Report is not required.  These include seasonal and holiday accommodation(holiday park homes for instance), properties of mixed use(a flat above Fast Food premises sold as a single lot is a common example) and also new build properties which are being sold by the builder or developer for the first time.  If you require a mortgage for the purchase of the property, a basic Scheme One type inspection and valuation will however be undertaken as part of the lending process and your Lender will advise you in this regard.  Hardies employ RICS registered valuers and are panel members of all UK based major Lenders but please speak first to your Lender before instructing a valuation.  We can also provide you with names of reputable, registered Independent Financial Advisors who can assist in the matter.

Back to News