As of today, sellers putting a home up for sale with four or more bedrooms must provide a Home Information Pack (HIP.
The packs, part of a government initiative which hopes to make it easier for first time buyers to get onto the property ladder, will provide buyers with the information to help them decide whether to pursue a sale or cut their losses before investing time and money into the standard searches and surveys typically conducted throughout the whole buying process.
Whilst in the past, the buyer was required to pay for searches; the responsibility now falls squarely on the shoulders of the sellers. HIPs are required at the start of the purchase process but sellers must now include an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which awards the property with an energy efficiency rating and outlines ways of reducing carbon emissions and cutting energy bills.
The Association of Home information Pack Providers (AHIPP) has dispelled the recent loophole myths put forward by the Packs’ opposition, welcoming the move as a much needed reform to the house buying and selling process.
Mike Ockenden, Director General, AHIPP comments: “This is the first major change to improve the house buying and selling process for over 75 years and as with any major reform there is going to be a period of bedding in as consumers and the industry alike adjust and familiarise themselves with the new packs. However, we must keep in mind the long term improvements that packs will bring to our long suffering home owning public.”
“HIPs are finally here and should be welcomed by consumers, environmentalists and industry alike.”
The second phase of HIPs will come into force on January 1st 2008 when all homes – with a few minor exceptions - being put up for sale will fall within the scope of the scheme and must provide buyers with a HIP within 14 days of request.
Learn more about Home Information Packs for sellers
and home information packs for buyers