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Home Information Packs

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the legal status of home condition reports will be; when home information packs are introduced; and for how long the Condition Report will be valid. (73899)

[holding answer 5 June 2006]: The regulations to be laid shortly will specify that Home Condition Reports will be valid documents once they are registered. The regulations will also specify that buyers, sellers and mortgage lenders can legally rely on Home Condition Reports. Home inspectors will be required to have in place suitable indemnity insurance.

The regulations will require that Home Condition Reports must be no more than three months old when marketing begins, but there will be no requirement for sellers to update them after this. We expect the industry to develop cheap solutions for updating packs where the seller wishes to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many home inspectors are in training; what qualifications are required to enter training; and how many home inspectors she expects to have in place in each local authority area in England by 1 June 2007. (73900)

[holding answer 5 June 2006]: As of 30April 2006, over 4,400 potential home inspectors were in training. The current qualification, the ABBE Diploma in Home Inspection, is open to people with different levels of previous experience, but all candidates must satisfy all parts of the Diploma. This includes providing a portfolio of evidence demonstrating the required skills and experience, and passing the ABBE examination.

We have estimated that the number of home inspectors required in England and Wales by 1 June 2007, will be between 5,000 and 7,400. The ‘Report on the Number of Home Inspectors Required from Introduction of Home Information Packs’ published by DCLG on 23 May 2006 shows the number of inspectors expected to be required in each of the English regions and Wales. I have deposited a copy in the Library of the House.