Return of the Home Condition report (HCR)?

This week has seen news released about developments of Home Information Packs and has given rise to speculation about Home Condition Reports (HCR) making a suprise return. The main topics and news within Magaret Beckett’s statement; industry professionals and associated organisation had some expectation of though we were all unsure of the exact timing until recently.

However, amongst the statement was some recognition towards a properties ‘condition’ which was initially planned to be addressed via the Home Condition Reports (HCR) within the Home Information Pack. Most within the industry have long considered the HCR a ‘dead duck’ which was doomed to the history books.  This includes a large number of people whom have spent thousands of pounds training to be a Home Inspector to later find out that there was little to no demand, whilst the recruitment of prospective trainees has continued by training providers.

Within Magaret’ Beckett’s statement the area some overlooked, however some quickly focussed upon was…

“Although take-up of home condition reports has been disappointing, we know that people want to know about the condition of homes before they commit to buy them. I will establish a working group to explore options for making sure that consumers have appropriate information about a property’s condition. This will build on the work carried out by the Stakeholder Panel to develop market-led models that can be delivered by existing practitioners, including Home Inspectors.”

You can read the minister’s full statement here.


Can we really expect to see the ‘full’ revival of the Home Condition report?

Can we really look forward to the Home Inspectors actually reporting that they have carried out an instruction?

Speculation is rising about this issue and until a definitive explanation is given it will unfortunately continue to be speculation.

The introduction of Home Reports within Scotland, the English Home Information Pack’s counterpart DOES contain a property survey (known as the Single Survey) which is mandatory unlike the HCR. The Home Condition Report is an optional document within the HIP and is the main reason there has been almost inexistant uptake.

The Scottish Single Survey is carried out by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) members which is how RICS would of liked it to have been implemented with England and Wales. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) resistance to the Home Condition Report was one of the reasons many believe it was made an optional requirement for the Home Information Pack.

“The Home Report regulations say that only surveyors registered with or authorised to practise by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors may prepare Single Surveys.”

Since the demise of the Home Condition Report various organisations have tried unsuccessfully to date, to ‘re-invent’ it under a different guise. One can only wonder at present if this is what is being referred to within Magarett Beckett’s statement.

This issue has certainly caught industry professionals’ attention and it will be interesting to see the developments.

Will England and Wales shortly have a ‘survey’ within the Home Information Pack as Scotland has?

If so, will it be dominated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) with exisiting Home Inspectors being asked to jump through ‘hoops’ before eventually being required and able to carry out a survey?

We look forward to your views on this subject and sharing future news releases as they happen in the subject.

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