Clause 145 — Home Condition Reports

Part of Orders of the Day — Housing Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:50 pm on 8th November 2004.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Keith Hill Keith Hill Minister of State (Housing and Planning), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 7:50 pm, 8th November 2004

It will be for the seller or their agent to make the home condition report available to the potential purchaser. Provision will be made to ensure that access to the report is restricted to those potential buyers to whom the would-be seller wishes such information to be made available. If the hon. Gentleman will allow me, I shall spell the situation out in a little more detail in due course.

The expected content of the home condition report has already been discussed in detail with lenders to ensure that it incorporates the data that they will need to create valuations, using automatic valuation models or other innovative valuation methods. We therefore envisage that access to the register will be allowed to lenders and others involved in carrying out valuation assessments on behalf of lenders.

I should point out that no final decision has been taken as to whether one of the proscribed uses of information from the register will be as a source of statistics on the condition of the nation's housing stock and its energy efficiency. If such a use were permitted, it would be subject to data protection and privacy considerations. Amendment (c) provides for regulations that restrict access to prescribed circumstances or purposes, and to prescribed descriptions of persons. We intend that access will not be indiscriminately available. For example, a potential buyer would need to have the HCR reference number in order to access a home condition report on the register. That reference number would be available only from the seller or their agent, which will ensure that data on the register is not available to any person who cannot satisfy the seller or their agent that he is a bona fide potential buyer.