Tory call to scrap Home Reports

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Image caption The Scottish government said it had no plans to scrap Home Reports

The Conservatives have called for Home Reports to be scrapped.

The move follows the new Tory-Lib Dem UK government's decision to scrap Home Information Packs in England and Wales.

The SNP administration in Scotland said Home Reports, introduced in December 2008, would not be affected by the Westminster decision.

Tory chief whip David McLetchie said it was time for the Scottish government to follow the UK government's lead and ditch the "costly" reports.

Home Reports are arranged by the seller and include a survey of the house, a study of its energy efficiency and a list of costs such as council tax banding.

The new coalition government at Westminster has suspended the use of Home Information Packs (Hips), which were introduced in 2007 in England and Wales.

The aim was to speed up the house-selling process by obliging sellers to provide much of the required conveyancing information when properties were first put up for sale.

The packs are paid for by sellers and contain property information, title deeds, and local searches.

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."

But the Scottish government said there were no plans to suspend Home Reports in Scotland.

Housing Minister Alex Neil said: "The Tories' Lib Dem coalition partners support Home Reports, showing that in Scotland David McLetchie can't even persuade his party's new friends.

"Home Reports is a totally different scheme from Home Information Packs, and the system for buying houses in Scotland is also very different from the process buyers go through in England.

"Feedback from the housing industry is that Home Reports have helped to increase buyer inquiries during this difficult time for the housing market.

"And Home Reports give would-be buyers, about to take the biggest financial leap of their lives, the best possible information upfront."

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