From the 1st December all properties sold in Scotland will require to have a Home Report made available to prospective purchasers. Caesar and Howie have no particular issue with the concept of Home Reports – if someone wants to produce a report in the belief that it will help a sale that is fine. However we do object to the compulsory nature of these reports and to the fact that sellers will be subject to criminal charges should one not be produced by the seller. This seems grossly unreasonable to us. The effect of this legislation is to ensure that sellers will have to incur several hundred pounds of costs before even being able to market a property. This seems wrong and unnecessary to us and we note with interest that the English equivalent of these reports have been seen as a resounding failure – with many now calling for the legislation requiring them to be repealed. However despite our own views we will ensure that clients are able to obtain a Home Report as part of our property sales service. The reports themselves split into three sections – the survey, the energy performance certificate and the property questionnaire. The first two sections will be completed by surveyors who have obtained energy performance assessor qualifications and the last section the government envisages will be completed by sellers themselves. The “survey” section of the report will be similar in form to the old “Type 2” survey, giving details of construction, necessary repairs and the surveyor’s valuation. The energy performance section will give an idea of the energy efficiency of the property and potential improvements possible. The property questionnaire is a section which is intended to give other general information about the property and its usage – including the various rights of access and servitude rights attaching to it. Effectively this last section will contain an amount of legal information which can only be accurately obtained by examining the title deeds to the property. For that reason Caesar and Howie qualified legal staff will obtain titles for clients assist them in the completion of that part of the report. We think it important if these reports are to be of any use at all that the correct information is entered into them and our legal staff will help ensuring that this is the case where our clients are involved. Home Reports with legal input can therefore be obtained from Caesar and Howie for all houses going on the market after 1st December 2008. Credit arrangements will be available to those clients wishing this.