House Builders Federation says detailed surveys to protect buyers of homes under 10 years old are 'superfluous'
The government has confirmed that seller's packs will have to include a detailed survey of homes that are less than 10 years old, even if they are still under warranty.

This has raised fears among housebuilders that they will have to bear increased costs for rectifying defects on homes still under warranty when the homeowner sells the property on.

A leading housebuilder said it was surprised by the government move and said it could lead to more claims.

The detailed survey, called a home condition report (HCR), is being introduced as part of the government's housing bill, which is currently going through parliament.

Homeowners will have to provide an information pack, or seller's pack, to sell their homes from 1 January 2007. This will give potential buyers a detailed survey of the state of the property.

Currently, housebuyers often have a simple evaluation survey when buying a home that is under warranty.

The HCRs will assess the state of the property and give an energy rating along with a list of measures to improve energy efficiency.

The House Builders Federation is opposed to the the idea of HCRs. Pierre Williams at the HBF said: "If a home is new and guaranteed, it would seem superfluous and unnecessary."

However, the National House Building Council, which is the biggest warranty provider, said it was not unduly worried by the government's decision.

A spokesperson said: "At this stage we have no reason to expect that HCRs will lead to a significant rise in the number of claims we receive."

Brian Scannell, managing director of National Energy Services, believes that HCRs for homes under warranty will improve the standards of the housing stock.

"If a fault comes to light then it is good for the future standard of the housing stock. If the result is that builders build with a bit more care then it will be of benefit. The housebuilders and the warranty companies would adapt pretty quickly."

Housebuilders will not have to provide an HCR for the first buyers of new homes but information will have to be provided on energy performance.