Renfrewshire Council

Buying and Selling

Care and maintenance of property

The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 aims to improve the condition of privately owned homes. The Act gives councils more powers to make sure that landlords and homeowners keep their properties in good condition and don't let them fall in to serious disrepair.

Prospective buyers should request a copy of the home report for any properties they are interested in. This report will contain information about the condition and value of the property, and highlight things that may need to be repaired or replaced over the coming years.

Buying property

There are many aspects to consider when buying property. For example, would you be happier living in a flat or in a house with a garden? You should also think about where you want to live. Would you like to live near your work or would you be happier living closer to your family and friends? Take into consideration factors like access to shops, leisure activities, schools, hospitals and public transport. You should also consider nuisance factors such as flight paths, closeness to railway lines and busy roads.

Property is advertised through a variety of sources such as estate agents and local newspapers

Once you have found a property, you should appoint a solicitor to carry out the conveyancing and to advise you on how to go about buying a house. Before making an offer, you should speak to your bank or building society about a mortgage promise. You will be advised that mortgage rates can vary and may go up or down. Your solicitor may also choose to submit a property enquiry certificate to the council to check whether there are any statutory notices or outstanding accounts.

Once you have selected a particular property, your lawyer will have to make an offer on your behalf to the seller's lawyer. If your offer is accepted and missives are concluded you are legally bound to buy the property.

Selling property

The Scottish Government introduced the home report in December 2008 which requires the seller to provide a single survey, property sale questionnaire and energy report.

The home report will ensure that both buyers and sellers have better information about the condition and value of houses.

You can sell your house yourself - for example, through an advert in a local newspaper. Alternatively, you may decide to use an estate agent, who will charge a fee for this service.


There are a considerable number of mortgage providers. Shop around to find a mortgage that best suits you. Mortgage advice is readily available from organisations like banks, building societies and from the property section of the BBC website.

Council tax bands

When you are thinking of buying a new home, you should check what Council Tax band your property is in and what the current Council Tax charges are.

Additional charges

There are a number of other charges to consider when moving house:

  • in most cases, you will be land and buildings transaction tax if the house you buy costs more than £145,000.
  • you will be charged an arrangement fee that covers the admin expenses involved in setting up your home loan
  • a thorough survey of the property you are going to buy will have to be arranged and you will be charged for this survey, and
  • you will need a solicitor to help you through the legal aspects of buying a house

Buying property is a big investment so you may also want to make a will at this time, if you haven't already done so.