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Government stands by home reports as McLetchie calls for abolition

24 May 2010

There are no plans to suspend home reports in Scotland, the Scottish Government has confirmed in response to a call from the Scottish Conservatives for their abolition.

The new UK coalition Government has decided to scrap home information packs in England & Wales, and the Conservatives' chief whip at Holyrood, David McLetchie MSP, said the Scottish Government should do  likewise with the "costly" home reports.

Home reports, introduced in December 2008, have to be obtained before a house is put on the market in Scotland and made available on request to prospective purchasers. They comprise a survey report, an energy performance certificate and a questionnaire completed by the seller. would not be affected by the Westminster decision.

Home information packs on the other hand contain property information, title deeds, and local searches, but provide no survey. The energy performance certificate is to be retained.

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Mr McLetchie said: "In the best of times, home reports were an expensive luxury. But in these difficult economic times caused by Labour's debt legacy, and with the housing market struggling to return to where it was a couple of years ago, they are madness.

"Our warnings that some lenders would not accept some home reports fell on deaf ears. It is not too late to either suspend the scheme, or at least make it voluntary."

In response, Housing Minister Alex Neil pointed out that Liberal Democrats in Scotland supported home reports, which were a totally different scheme from home information packs.

He added: "Feedback from the housing industry is that home reports have helped to increase buyer inquiries during this difficult time for the housing market", and gave potential buyers "the best possible information upfront".

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