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Legislation

The way homes are bought and sold in Scotland changed on December 1, 2008.

Part 3 of The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 'Provision of Information on Sale of House' says that when a house is marketed for sale in Scotland, certain documents have to be made available. It gives Ministers power to set regulations about what those documents are, along with some other details about how the documents need to be prepared and provided.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Prescribed Documents) Regulations 2008 sets out which documents sellers must give to prospective buyers. These are a survey report (the Single Survey and an Energy Report) and a Property Questionnaire, which together form a 'Home Report'.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Amount of Penalty Charge) Regulations 2007 The person responsible for marketing a house must have a Home Report and must give a copy to any potential buyer who asks for it. Anyone who does not do this may get a penalty charge notice from an authorised officer of a local authority. In cases like this, the regulations prescribe a penalty charge of £500.

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Consequential Provisions) Order 2008. For the single survey to work, the buyer must be able to rely on the terms of the survey. The seller is able to do so, having commissioned the survey. Article 3 of the Order establishes the liability of the person who prepared the report on a house towards the buyer of that house. The Explanatory Memorandum provides further information on the Order.